Esmeralda House

Construction year:
City: 11410

The Casa Esmeralda or Emerald House is located at the feet of Cerro Manquehue, in Lo Barnechea district. It is part of a family settlement, built within a privileged sector of Santiago. The project is designed for Cazú’s mother, and it is named Emerald, because of how Clara, Cazú’s daughter, defines her grandmother’s eyes.

Esmeralda House, Santiago - Chile, Cazú Zegersphoto © Cristóbal Palma

The concept is inspired by the traditional Roman house with the central courtyard, the construction arises as a rectangular square floor plan, with a central void around which the circulation is organized, and that also provides natural light and passive airing to the dwelling.

The regular floor plan is turned on the rooftop to incorporate a contemporary look, causing an asymmetric volume created by the eaves of the windows of the interior corridor and the fifth window, that frames the natural environment of Cerro Manquehue. The genesis of the deck’s geometry is inspired by the study of the formation process of the emerald crystal, which grows in a platonic polyhedra system until the icosahedron is formed. This volume generates the rotation of the square plant, mainly expressed in the rotated central courtyard, that represents a contemporary reinterpretation of the classic Roman courtyard.

Esmeralda House, Santiago - Chile, Cazú Zegersphoto © Juan Purcell

Located in the foothills, with an approximate slope of 30 degrees, the volume is suspended over a concrete pillars forest, which serves a dual function. On one hand, the totality of the land’s surface becomes a garden, generating a number of intermediate zones that allows one to enjoy the extraordinary view of the site, covered terraces, and a barbecue area. On the other side, it lets us inhabit the dwelling from it’s exterior throughout all the year, enjoying the mild Mediterranean climate, characteristic of Chile’s central region. The building is a wooden fuselage that rises from the ground through inclined concrete pillars that represent the image of a forest, letting the landscape pass under the house, creating an exterior scenery from you can look towards the mountain.

Esmeralda House, Santiago - Chile, Cazú Zegersphoto © Cristóbal Palma

A space conceived as a pavilion that opens towards the landscape, with a double circulation on the perimeter limited by the interior courtyard and the circulation in front of the closed facade of the house, that runs with the windows without touching them, generating continuity throughout the different rooms. IA democratic space is created, without hierarchies that restrict the inhabitance of their users.

The house is a constant flow between the interior and the exterior, letting the landscape extend till it becomes infinite. It is the elemental form, in its most pure state, that dialogues with the territory and with the experience of whom inhabits the space. Who inhabits the metaphysics, converses with the emotional being, the inhabit emotion itself.

Contributed by Cazú Zegers

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