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2018 MCHAP

Two Skins House

Veronica Arcos

Pichicuy, Chile

August 2017


Veronica Arcos


Pedro González (Collaborator at Veronica Arcos Arquitectos) José Manuel Morales (Structural Engineer at JMM) Raúl Herrera (Constructor at Remoto)


Daniel Eguillor


Cristóbal Palma


It was intended to work with a simple volume, without convexities, and to give it expression through the double curvatures of its envelope. Those are perceived subtly in the interior of the house, and become more expressive from a distance. The house is nine meters high at its tallest point, just above the master bedroom, on the second floor, and four meters at the lowest point. At the North-South axes of each of these points, lines of opposite slopes are constructed, and through their interpolation they form a hyperbolic paraboloid on the roof. The aim was to create spacious and luminous spaces, which at the same time were comfortable - warm in the winter and fresh during the summer. It is a house on the beach, so it is designed for moments of leisure, retreatment and relaxation. The specific orientation allows for views of the distance of the Pacific Ocean, a natural spectacle - especially during sunset - that is perceived from the inside and from the terrace. Its main façade to the north allows to capture an optimal sun, which illuminates and tempers the house when necessary.


The Dos Pieles House is a family beach house located on the coast of Chile, 180 km to the North of Santiago close to the beach of Pichicuy. The project deals with the exploration of ruled surface geometries on the house envelope, in order to provide optimal thermal insulation, and the incorporation of views towards the Pacific Ocean. In order to establish a relation with its surroundings, wood dyed as a coating was chosen. It is a material that is naturally found in the context, since the house is in a wooded area. The geometry of the volume makes it an abstract object for the context, a kind of wooden rock, extraneous to the landscape, either natural or artificial. These two conditions, their rather mimetic character and their unique geometry, defines the particular dialogue of the house with the immediate and far landscape.


The project is organized by a floor plan that consists of a rectangle oriented towards the North, obtaining maximum sun exposure. The house is positioned on an axis that responds to voids in the surrounding forest, which allow for views of the distant ocean. One to the North, letting all the rooms to enjoy the view, and another to the West, providing the view of the sunset during the Summer season. The house is built entirely in wood. The first skin of the envelope is made of pine and OSB structure walls, insulated by mineral wool and coated in zinc to seal it from humidity. The second skin generates a ventilated façade. This, combined with a cross-ventilation system throughout the volume, allows the house to remain very cool in the seasons of heat. The second skin is the visible face of the house, and proposes a dynamic aesthetic of gradual variation, through the interpolation of wooden elements, resulting in a warped surface, both in the longitudinal facades and on the roof. The operation is similar on the South and North facades, where an eave is generated over the windows and doors, and the envelope is folded until reaching the lead of the eave, returning to the original lead gradually, by means of a fold in the opposite direction at the bottom of the facade.

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