Modern Weekend Retreat with a Privileged Connection to the Environment

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Casa CML is a modern weekend retreat designed by the Chilean studio Ricardo Torrejon Arquitectos.

Description by Ricardo Torrejon Arquitectos: This is about a weekend house, located on a 5,000 sqm lot in the Hacienda los Aromos, nearby Limache, (middle-west Chile). Program and overall Budget required from us that every architectural decision were same effective and efficient.

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The house itself is a 4 winged volume that clearly spreads the program inside, but still keeps the coherence and totality of a single body. Besides meeting the interior requirement, we thought that the house should act as an object on the landscape, defining certain territorial order, giving hints of four definite areas outside: entrance, service, principal and children.

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The volume is placed on a flat spot at the upper part of a gentle slope, so that the 3,40m interior height turns into a lofty space once the slope increases and therefore foundations get lower. It is mainly east-north oriented so it gets the best sun exposure at the same time that it turns back from south-west in order to protect from afternoon’s heavy winds and sun radiation.

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In order to keep the footprint geometry as simple as possible, we decided to alternate blind walls and openings (rather than punched windows) that relate both to the immediate context and distant views.

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The main structure is 2×4” pine lumber in addition to some steel reinforcements made out of standard tubes that help preventing wood deformations. We designed a 4 meter wide bay, which allowed us to roof the whole structure using just commercial standard 2×8” pine lumber joists. All floors in the house, including baths and kitchen, are white stained in-place-polished concrete. No additional pavements where needed, since we privileged a low maintenance surface and more integrated spaces. Interior and exterior wall cladding are made out of stained pine 1×8” and 1×6”.

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Children bedroom is a common space, with bunk beds all along its back wall. Right above it, there is a flexible lofty space that can be alternatively used as family room, studio or guests dormitory. Pantry, storage and service are integrated into the kitchen area, divided by a 2m height drywall. This solves all domestic necessities without sacrificing natural lighting and spatiality.

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The luxury or category in this house was given not necessarily by using expensive features, but by the use of a reduced palette of natural materials rather than industrial products. We also invested in quality space: overall interior height, integrated rooms, and the contrast between immediate surrounding and distant views towards the geographical context.

Project: Casa CML – modern weekend retreat
Architects: Ricardo Torrejon Arquitectos
Photographs: Felipe Fontecilla

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