Client: Isabel Germain
Construction: Mathias Klotz
Engineers: Jaime Frerk
Construction date: 1991
Completion date: 1991
Terrain surface: 5.700 sqm
Built surface: 99 sqm
Location: Playa grande, Tongoy, Chile
The beautiful two-storey wooden house is located beside the seafront in Tongoy, north of Santiago. It was designed by Mathias Klotz in 1991 for his mother and was the Chilean architect’s first major project.
I find this project so irresistibly charming, it really is a house that I’d love to call home if I’d live somewhere by the beach. The two storey high living area allows in light and gives the room a feeling of airy bright space one would love to hang around.
Here is Mathias’s description of the project:
The Klotz house is in the vicinity of Tongoy on a beach situated 400 km to the north of Santiago. The bay is 24 km long and has very few buildings along it. The outline of the cove is recognisable from a distance, as is the coastal mountain range in the background.
The powerful contrast between the house and its surroundings is what defines the building. The work consists of a rectangle box 6 x 6 x 12 m which sits upon the ground and rises 30 cm above it.
The ground plan has two clearly defined sections on the first floor. The narrowest, of two meters, is for the entry, the stairs, the bathroom and a small bedroom. The larger, of four meters is for the main bedroom, the kitchen-dining room and the double-height living room. On the second floor, the bedrooms are set back from the sea facing façade to allow space for terraces. The staircase and bridge that connect the bedrooms continue the concept of the corridor or gallery on the first floor.
The fine white carpentry, the openings in the wall, the added and subtracted features, the interplay between the proportions, the horizontal lines of the wooden sealing fillets on the facades are all touches aimed at producing a detailed close-up effect in contrast with the panorama of the surroundings and the abstraction of the building itself.