Perched above a steep cliff in Tunquén, Chile, the Mirador House by Gubbins Arquitectos offers the family living here daily encounters with majestic rocks, the sea and the seagulls: “We imagined the house project Mirador, elevated from the terrain, which allows us to see both the land and the sea at once. Because of its location and architecture, the house can be seen from far away both from the field and from the coast, highlighting the main floor supported by a smaller base volume, showing symmetrical cantilevered areas. The architectural concept reflects the memory of three visits to the Villa Savoye in Paris designed by Le Corbusier”, explained the architects.
A complex layout with unlimited views of the landscape was the main idea for the design: “The Mirador house rises from the ground ascending to the main floor by a ramp, and is comprised of a large meeting space connected to two terraces that open to the sea and the countryside respectively on opposite sides, and two departments on both sides. The center of the great space is a double height area through which sunlight enters during the morning and the evening, and through which you may exit via a spiral-staircase to the roof terrace from which dominates the entire area.” [Photography by Marcos Mendizabal]
Energy during the construction process was saved by using FSC-certified glulam timber instead of steel to create the building’s distinctive wavy roof, while the store’s external walls use hemclad, a highly innovative insulator made from hemp, which, like all plants, absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere as it grows. An 80,000 litre water tank below ground provides water for the store’s toilets and waters the site’s green wall’, which provides natural insulation, acts as an all-natural pollution filter near the car park, and helps to encourage biodiversity. The result is a building that uses a fraction of the energy of structures of a similar size, and is still very popular with local shoppers.
The best architects can create designs which will give clients and the public things they didn’t even realise they wanted, and this is especially important when architects are given the difficult brief of creating structures in much-loved, iconic areas.