Casa Ocho Quebradas by Alejandro Aravena

14/01/2020

I often get totally obsessed with some buildings where I just can’t get enough of them. It happens regularly and when it does I research every piece of information that is available and study them intently, I get very excited when something new pops up on the interwebs, in journals or publications. Some prime examples are Maison a Bordeaux by OMA and the The Solo House by OFFICE KGDvS, some other more local projects are the Hawthorn House by Edition Office and the Flinders House by DCM… all beautiful houses.

Casa Ocho is epic, elemental and monumental. A holiday retreat with monastic qualities, located on a private cliff top in a very rugged area. The house is made up of three simple stacked blocks that is quite evident in the images. The horizontal base block houses the main living & master bedroom spaces that are partially underground. The roof of this is the entry platform that also holds up the second block which is stacked vertically, it houses the lobby, stair circulation and 3 bedrooms, bathrooms and wine store. On top of this you find an concealed external terrace space, the final result seems to have diverged from the original plan that included a spa area, refer image below (I’m guessing budgetary constraints). The third block is stacked just off vertical and is a massive hollowed out chimney for want of a better description. The materials are raw concrete inside and out and from what I can tell the window shutters are timber however they have been stained to match the concrete colouring making the buildings appear all the more monolithic.

Ocho Quebradas translates to Eight Ravines and is located in Los Vilos, Chile about 250 kilometres north of Santiago. The house by Aravena is the first in a series to be built as part of a private development led by Chilean developer Phillipe Godoy. Eight Japanese architects and eight Chilean architects will design houses on the rural site, other architects include Kengo Kuma, Sou Fujimoto and Felipe Assadi. The other houses are popping up as we speak and it will be interesting to see the full collection when the development is completed. This house recently sold which is a excellent for the developer, you have to commend someone to take on such a massive endeavour and to do so with excellent design as the driving force.

All photos by Cristobal Palma and I assume the render is by Elemental.