A Concrete Clifftop Home By Pezo Von Ellrichshausen
On a wild cliff overlooking the vast blue of the Pacific Ocean, architects Mauricio Pezo and Sofia von Ellrichshausen have designed ‘Loba’, a narrow concrete home on the Chilean coast.
The home stands at just 70 square meters, compact in its footprint and its scale. Of this, the architects explain: “Perhaps the only distinction between objects and things resides in their scale. Closer to any natural thing, in its ambiguous scale, this small building is more than a hut but less than a house: it is a cottage.” Pezo von Ellrichshausen has replaced the thatched roof and quaint idealism usually associated with cottages with this immovable, sharp-edged mass of concrete. Of the spatial design, the pair explains, “In its under-dimensioned thickness, in its narrow and tall proportion, the building could be read as an inhabited wall that runs perpendicular to the natural topography.” Indeed, from a distance, the shape of the building brings to mind a wall that juts from the cliff-face it is built upon.
The use of board-formed concrete is typical of the firm’s work and lends a stylistic texture to both the interior and exterior of the home. Light cast from discrete openings at both ends of the building offers continual illumination of the space. The architects designed a “regime of openings” to act as both skylights and sundials. At the corner of the building, overlooking the Pacific beyond, there is a window divided by a round pillar — designed to mimic the sunset: “an almost impossible and illusory floating rock rests right on top of that reflection.”