Swett House can be found in Chiguayante, Bío Bío Region, Chile and was designed with utmost attention to detail by Prado Arquitectos. It is a relatively spacious home that offers 4,057 square feet of living space as well as comfortable living conditions to its owners. The main idea behind its design was to achieve height in order to ensure adequate sun exposure throughout the living spaces. The solution was implemented with the help of columns that support a glass volume at the ground floor as well as a platform at the upper level.
The glass box comprises the social spaces such as the dining room, living room, kitchen and barbecue area, while the upper platform includes the bedrooms. The second floor was made entirely out of wood and features horizontal windows with steel frames. Inside, we find a plethora of wood elements, including the furnishings, floors and the staircase that links the two levels.
From the architect:
The project is located on a site located at the bottom of a narrow valley surrounded by hills; in the northeastern end of the Schaub de Chiguayante subdivision; a territory with short periods of sun exposure, so the conceptual idea of the project was to try to gain height to improve the sun exposure in all rooms.
The location of the volumes on the ground sought to maximize its available surface, as from the 1295 m2 of land, 40% is part of the steep slopes of the hill.
The idea was to create a sort of series of columns made of small steel profiles, and a glass enclosure to contain the social areas; living room, dining room, barbecue and kitchen on the first level, maintaining a close relationship between the exterior and interior space, plus supporting with minimal materiality (steel and glass) the platform for the upper level that houses the private premises as living room and bedrooms.
The entire second level of the building is designed in wood, from the mezzanine made of I JOIST beams for larger spans, to the partition walls and roof.
The horizontal fenestration, with long, transparent and continuous planes framed with steel plates like a visor, ratify the horizontal volumes that make up the house, like the parking and covered walkway to the house and the two wings of bedrooms, all trying to break free of the anchorage of the ground, looking for an expression of lightness, which does not touch the hill or the site.
Project Architects: Cristian Prado, Tomas Prado, Raúl Espinoza
Collaborators: Katia González, Daniel Pinilla
Project Area: 377.0 m2
Project Year: 2014
Photographs: Daniel Pinilla
Structures: Juan Marcus Schwenk
Lighting: Oriana Ponzini
Landscape: Macarena Opazo