The T2 house is the result of a commission to develop a house located in Tunquén, on the coastal edge of central Chile, where the territory is arranged in groups of ½ hectare plots with second home typologies. With the advances in technology, communication and teleworking, this house is proposed as a first home in a rural area, where its program accommodates the domestic and working life of a couple during the week, hosting visitors and developing a social life on weekends.  This phenomenon of city-countryside migration was exacerbated in Chile with the 2020 pandemic and telematic work.

Location: Tunquén, Municipality of Algarrobo, V Region, Chile.
Year: 2019
Surface: 273 m² (273 sq. mts.)
Architecture: Co2 Arquitectos. Cristián Oliva C. – Camilo Oliva A. (
Construction: Co2 Arquitectos
Structural Calculation: Juan Martínez
Electrical Engineering: Emilio Agloni
Sanitary Engineering:
Materials: Mixed wood and steel structure. Fiber Cement, Glass, Arauco Ply.
Cost: 28 UF/m2
Photographs: Jalil Hadwah (

Memory House Tunquen 2 by Co2 Arquitectos - Sheet5
©Jalil Hadwah

The land is marked with a medium slope facing north, it  has two situations in the landscape that the house puts in value: an opening between the trees where you can see the sea from the second level and the view of the slopes of the hills that encase the bed of the stream Casablanca.

A volume composed of 4 cubic bodies is proposed, articulated by a central axis where the access to the house, the vertical circulation and the distribution space of the program are located. These bodies are modulated and decomposed according to enclosures and orientation to the views.

Memory House Tunquen 2 by Co2 Arquitectos - Sheet6
©Jalil Hadwah

The architectural strategies that give rise to the form unfold from two concepts:

1_Contextual architecture. Each formal decision of the volume appeals and is linked to the immediate context where the work is inserted. In this particular case the work is the result of the formal optimization of the volume for the bioclimatic conditioning of the house and for the link with the landscape. Highlighting views, enhancing the verticality of the forest and its spatial condition of living on a slope through terraces at different heights.

2_Passive sustainability. An efficient bioclimatic conditioning is proposed according to the position of the building on the ground, without the need to invest in technologies or materials that mean a higher cost or complex construction processes.

The positioning of the volume on the ground, its formal deployment, its skins, its openings, eaves and bow windows are designed to optimize sunlighting, shading, lighting, ventilation, cooling and heating for each season of the year. In addition, the house reuses its gray water and rainwater to irrigate the native vegetation of the plot, returning the water to the water table where it comes from.

Memory House Tunquen 2 by Co2 Arquitectos - Sheet8
©Jalil Hadwah

The architectural expression of the house is developed through a tectonic of terraces, volumes that are integrated into the background of the natural landscape with dark colors enhancing the green of the place.

The supporting structure of the house is separated from the natural terrain by foundation pillars of mixed wood and steel structure, leaving a ventilated floor with insulation, which allows water to drain naturally down the hillside and native vegetation to grow between the floor and the house.

On the second floor the program is arranged in 2 blocks, the first one towards the east with a more intimate program where there is a TV room and a room for guests. In the second block are the public areas, developed by a nave with an open kitchen integrated to the dining room and the living room of the house. These programs are spatially integrated, but separated by having different floor levels with the same sky level.

The central axis of the house, where the staircase is located, ends in a glass volume that opens to the exterior, illuminating the staircase on the first and second floors, breaking the south façade into two planes.

Memory House Tunquen 2 by Co2 Arquitectos - Sheet9
©Jalil Hadwah

Additionally, there is an exterior volume, open and covered at the same time that contains a dining room and a barbecue area, both integrated to the house.

The living room, besides being integrated to the kitchen and dining room, is integrated to the outdoor terrace through sliding glass panels on the west and north facade, which open completely. Leaving an intermediate space covered and ventilated, integrating the landscape to the house and the house to the landscape.

In the central point of the house and on the first level, between the dining room and living room, the fireplace was located so that the heat rises to the rest of the rooms.  The chimney’s extraction duct passes through the bedroom area on the second floor, efficiently heating that area without the need to transport heat, only taking it from the second floor.

The outdoor terrace is conceived as a lookout platform, with no railings, but with a continuous edge seat that provides a perspective to look at the landscape.

The program of the second level includes the master bedroom, 2 guest bedrooms, a workshop or telecommuting office and a viewing terrace. On this level the spaces and enclosures are arranged through the central axis and 2 articulated volumes. To the east the volumes are more closed, housing 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom. To the west, the house is open and extends towards the landscape to seek the sea view, leaving the volume of the main room in overhang, over the outdoor dining room on the second floor, covering it from the rain and creating shade.

To the north and articulating the volumes of the second floor, generating a relief of the work and living programs, a garden terrace is proposed on the roof that allows to conquer the distant views from height.

On the first and second floors, the house is structured around the perimeter based on wooden partitions insulated with insulating polystyrene and sprayed cellulose. They are braced by mixed wood and steel beams, which rest on interior pillars of sulfate pine painted white albayalde giving it a smooth texture and green patina finish.

©Jalil Hadwah

The exterior material is composed of a fiber cement siding that generates a ventilated façade and retards combustion in the event of fire. Dyed with an algae dye that reduces the need for maintenance of the siding exposed to rain, salinity and direct sunlight.

The eaves and bow windows are designed with a replicable and scalable construction detail of channel profiles and wood centers, for each construction solution that makes up the envelope of the house.


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