One square at a time...

Monday 23 Nov 2009

New housing development in Santiago with a unique concept

This housing development is centered on an atypical investment operation; instead of selling apartments, sell square metres. Each owner buys the square metres for an apartment which is then developed for the program of their specific needs. A family favoured a large terrace with plaza views, a habitable roof with pool and views to North hills; another owner chose a protected garden as an extension of his apartment; a third owner, a single man, decided on a small loft. In this way, each apartment has its own unique character.

With a rectangular floor plan, the building consists of three complete floors and a fourth floor which is set further back, allowing the use of the roofs as terraces and pools. The volume contains a central void which is the entrance space to the apartments from the centre of the building. The space is bathed in natural light from above and is activated by the horizontal circulations on each level, in the form of balconies.

The building is comprised of seven apartments, the special condition being that they are all different, both in terms of their programmatic layout and their square footage. Each apartment has at least two levels and each one is accessed through a double-height space. The volume of the building does not recognise the limits of each apartment on the exterior. It displays itself as a composition assembled on the basis of adding different opaque planes and voids, such as windows, terraces, openings and beams, that speak of the interior space.

The service zones were distributed throughout the interior of the building as patios, in such a manner as to allow the inlet of shafts of light and ventilation. The exterior appears only as windows and terraces of the habitable zones of each apartment. The only element that unifies all the apartments is the materiality and the terminations. A single white material reinforces the idea of a unique volume. The interiors also are entirely white, permitting greater luminosity through the reflection of natural light.

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