Casa S is an amoeba-shaped house on the Chilean coast

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A concrete podium surmounted by a sculptural glazed volume forms the Casa S, a Chilean cliff-side house by the architectural firms Gubbins Polidura Arquitectos and Más Arquitectos.


The project is located in Punta Pite, a community located between the seaside towns of Zapallar and Papudo on the Chilean coast. As the name suggests – punta means tip in Spanish – the site juts out into the sea.

Casa S sits on top of a cliff jutting out to the sea

The companies of Santiago Gubbins Polidura Arquitectos and Más Arquitectos were commissioned to design a second home for a couple with three children.

Their design was heavily influenced by the client’s unique property, which is almost 100 meters long and features a steep rock drop of 20 meters.

Amoeba-shaped design
The structure is shaped like an amoeba

“One of the main goals of the project was to create a horizontal plane – a large podium that allows habitation and showcases the strength of the landscape, the view of the sea and the sunset,” the team said. .

The two-storey Casa S consists of a V-shaped concrete podium surmounted by a glazed volume in the shape of an amoeba.

Rounded structure
The house is embedded in the site

The podium is recessed into the site, making it barely visible from certain points of view.

“It reduces the image of a large house in the landscape,” the team said. “When you are in the lodge on the top floor, the rest of the house disappears.”

Casa S sea view
Casa S offers views of the surrounding coast

Within the 420 square meter dwelling there is a clear division between public and private spaces.

“The idea of ​​the proposal was to separate the public and private programs into two parts arranged one above the other, connecting the two levels to the landscape,” the team said.

Upstairs is the kitchen, dining area and living room. Each occupies a circular room with a central part below.

Floor-to-ceiling glass allows rooms to feel part of the natural terrain. The granite flooring continues to the exterior, further helping the interior blend into the landscape.

Spiral staircase
A spiral staircase is located at the heart of the ground floor

At the heart of the ground floor is a spiral staircase leading down to the sleeping area. One side houses a master suite, while the other has three bedrooms.

Throughout the house, the team used a limited palette of materials, including stone, wood and concrete. Stacked plywood planks form the stairs and dining room furniture.

Chocolate-colored wood
Chocolate-toned wood is found throughout the house

Considering Chile’s strong seismic activity, the architects paid attention to earthquakes when designing the building. The upper part is made of a concrete slab which rests on 21 steel columns.

“The height of the columns is minimal, 230 centimeters, thus avoiding the possible deformation of the structure in the face of dynamic stresses,” the team said.

“This height reinforces the horizontality of the speakers, emphasizing the views always towards the horizon.”

Concrete podium
The podium is concrete

Other coastal dwellings in Chile include a pair of minimalist wood-clad cabins by Croxatto and Opazo Architects, and a cliff-side retreat by the late Chilean architect Cristián Boza that features a meandering yellow wall and circular swimming pool.

The photograph is by Cristobal Palma.


Project credits:

Architecture firms: Gubbins Polidura Arquitectos and Más Arquitectos
Architects: Antonio Polidura and Alex Brahm
Countryside: Juan grimm
Architecture collaborator: Hernan Fournies
Project calculations: Alberto Maccioni
Construction: Daniel Alemparte
Lighting: Greene during Iluminacion and Luxia Lighting

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