Chilean architecture is having a moment. Since the end of the country’s dictatorship in 1990, there has been a rise in the number of architecture schools as a result of a new economic system that permits private universities. This has been partnered with an evolution in the approach of Chilean architects, from remote coastal areas to the dense domains of cities.
In a country defined by contrasting landscapes from wild to urban, Chilean architects have developed a capacity to work under a variety of conditions, adapting to the unique topographies and cultural contexts of different regions. This is especially true for residential architecture, where architects continue to deliver elegant designs that work with the most unusual geological conditions.
The following seven projects on the jagged edges of Chile’s coastline showcase the Chilean architectural language — one that can’t be truly defined, but exudes an indomitable spirit.
Inspired by the Villa Savoye by Le Corbusier, the orthogonal volumes and raw materiality are juxtaposed with the jagged bluffs and the ocean view, allowing this home to stand out while blending in.
The dark hued shingles and the low height of Casa Ensignia Gerber allows it to nestle into the low brush landscape.
Massive gray volumes are connected by a glass corridor, giving the Rabanua House a dystopian look with stunning views of the ocean.
The thoughtful arrangement of spaces gives the D House an array of views of the landscape that is also strategic to the climatic conditions of the coast.
The use of screens and the light timber and stone gives the Plint House a beach house feel appropriate to its surrounding landscape.
A rectangular volume is inscribed in a circle to “protect” this home from the vastness of the ocean, while small moments of openings frame views of the coast from the inside.
A grid of pillars support modulating beams that embrace the house and give way to exterior moments with spectacular views.