House in El Arrayán. A great square podium on the Andes manifests the presence of the man, without interrupting the continuity of the landscape.


Luis Izquierdo W., Antonia Lehmann S.B.
Calculistas Luis Soler P. y Asociados

El Arrayán, Santiago de Chile
Built Surface
260 m2
Project year

Luis Izquierdo

This house is located in a lot of 15,000 m2 in the pre-mountain chain of Santiago, around the top of a small hill immersed between mountains. This rugged terrain is valuable to establish itself having a surface flat and regular. Firstly, came up  the idea of ​​creating an open, spacious and square place: a large podium for an upright person, the center from which dominate the landscape in all directions. This is the courtyard that is reached, at the end of a long, winding and ascending route, from the city. It is the open living room and the level of access of the house.

The living room and access are available as single-glazed volume that shares the views in 360˙ of the court, acting as a spatial link and use the upper level and the rest of the underground program. All other enclosures, where everyday life is lived, are gathered on the ground floor, which embraces the hill so, coinciding with the peak of this, the deck slab is the floor of the upper courtyard. Circulation in this floor plan is developed together with the retaining wall that is bending by the contour of the hill. In opposition to the higher plane, in which one is referred to the open air and the distance, on the lower level, the contact is with the immediate land mass contained by the curved wall of concrete. This is interrupted in the presence of the three wet caves, of stone and vegetation, which rises towards the patio.

The layout of the largest square is defined by dimensions of ground level, minimizing cut excavation, and corresponds to the volume of the hill and the direction of the mound. The rotation of the smaller volume of two floors, on the largest square, corresponds to the direction of the mountain range that tops in the nevado “Altar”. This turn of the head of the building is also due to the presence of the next hill along the mound, which is in the forefront.

The regular structure of concrete pillars and frames rests on the site.The elements of filling, skirting, floor and walls, which are rustic brick, are emerging from the ground. The concrete was stained in the mass with pigments pink – bluish, which are the colors that take the mountain range in the afternoon. The color in the concrete becomes more intense with moisture, changing with the passing of the seasons.

The surrounding natural terrain has been generally left untouched, leaving the area of irrigated garden restricted to the courtyard, due to lack of water. This plane has been planted with grass like a green and smooth sheet, suspended on the mass of wavy earth. The courtyard is bordered by a mirror of water that cuts the grass plane against the reflection of the sky, replacing railing.                With this project we wanted to give a strong account of the presence of man, without breaking with the natural continuity of the landscape.