Houses 10 and 10 + 10

Gonzalo Mardones Arquitecto as Architects

Two houses are located at different levels around a protected orchard alongside a stream of native trees on the northwestern slope of Cerro Melon, an area affected by a severe drought in the north of Valparaíso Region. One of the houses accommodates 10 people, and the other 10 people and 10 horses.


The house 10 is placed on top taking advantage of the views of the evergreen valley, while the house 10 + 10 is located on the bottom, perpendicular to the creek, overlooking the valley and paddocks for horses.


The term "shakkei" in the Japanese landscape is understood as the way to capture the surrounding landscape. The houses 10 and 10 + 10 attempt to capture nature in all its dimensions.


The house 10 is a simple radiata pine nave and black painted steel columns that sit recumbent on the hill entirely open to the north (sun) through a glass facade protected by a corridor 3 meters wide x 3 meters high. Moreover, its southern facade is composed of a long wall of black pine that hosts the hallway access. The house is crossed by a succession of four courtyards allowing natural light and ventilation to a large hall that distributes to two sections: bedrooms, living room; this axis is increasing its height and creates a sinuous interior that redraws the silhouette of the hill on the other side of the creek and frames the view to the valley. Trapping the hills through a large portico gives an idea of the size facing the immensity of nature, marking the landscape, pastures and horses that inhabit the opposite hill like a painting by Matias Pinto D'Aguiar of 90s.


The house 10 + 10 is also a radiata pine nave divided into two areas: one for individuals and one for the horses. The bedroom area is protected from the wind and looks to the creek; on the contrary, the horse area opens to a corridor protected from the sun but facing the controlled wind achieving the necessary permanent cross ventilation for the 10 stables, bale rooms, and saddle room.


Both houses have been built entirely in radiata pine with exterior structured steel corridors. All measures, both interior and exterior, have been modulated to fit the plank to the exterior and the same timber board to the interior.

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