Located in the coastal village of Matanzas, Chile, and designed by Panorama Arquitectos, this 9x9m cliff top home overlooks panoramas of the isle, beach and forest that surround it. While parts of the square home are double volumed, an angled 45-degree slice creates a 2-storey section that includes the Master Bedroom and the Bathroom. With the home’s bathroom and main bedroom upstairs, the lower volume consists of the living, dining and kitchen areas as well as a second sleeping zone. Also part of the main level is a void cut into the North facade, creating an intimate and sheltered outdoor terrace.
With the Panorama House tucked into the cliff top, the land rolls up and away from the home, disguising its double volume height and presenting what appears to be a simple cube, one storey high. This unobtrusive presentation of the home to the landscape is further enhanced by the choice of vertical wood siding left to weather into a soft silvery grey patina, much like the sands of the beaches below.
It is not until arriving at the Panorama House and seeing the dug out platform for the home’s foundation that the double volume becomes apparent. The short retaining wall that is the top of the cliff faces towards the eastern, closed and private front of the home, leaving the other 3 facades to take advantage of the panoramic views. On the North facade, the window to the Master Bedroom duplicates the size and shape of the lower void that is the protected outdoor terrace.
While the terrace is only open on one side, there is an upper triangular glazing that faces West and another glazing the looks into the double social volume to the South. The terrace is completely clad in natural wood with the exception of two spherical sections filled with dirt for a minimalist gardening moment. The circular sections of dirt play up the various geometries used throughout the home.
The home’s entry is on the private facade to the East and here, a covered porch is created by a second void. While the terrace was completely clad in unfinished wood siding, the entry chooses to feature an interior wall of white that pierces through the glazings to continue to the outside facade of the home. This indoor/outdoor wall combined with the double volume of window and doorway glazings create a surreal visual of what is and what is not part of the inner core.
Just inside the entryway is an angled open riser stairwell that leads to the 2nd storey. The stairwell has a casual impression of simply “leaning” against the upper floor and the handrail seems completely detached from this composition. This vignette adds more layers of unexpected angles and volumes into a simple square, turning what could have been a basic box into a home of fluid and imaginative compositions.
At the top of the stairs the Master Bedroom is tucked into a triangular floorplan with large wall glazings exposing the ocean’s tide line. What a view, being able to watch shorebirds and animals within the ever changing high and low tide parameters while at the same time seeing the wide expanse of the ocean itself is a vista that must be experienced to really be appreciated – and to do so from the comforts of one’s home is just awesome. At night, when its time to go to sleep, roller blinds can be pulled down as black out treatments, or left open for ethereal starlit views.
When guests spend the night, a second sleeping zone is located behind the stairwell on the main level. Not completely separated from the social zone, the space can also be used as a private corner for studying, reading or simply napping.
The Master Bedroom overlooks the kitchen and dining areas on its South side. Here, the kitchen is a galley configuration, leaving the majority of the floor space for the dining experience. What’s interesting about this space is the choice of different materials used on all four walls coming together into a cohesive story of white, glass and different versions of natural woods. The Master Bedroom wall is weathered unfinished horizontal planking, the kitchen cabinets are clear coated clear grain ply with the exception of one section that highlights a vertical row of branch details and the flooring is clear coated knotty planks.
A small section of exposed beams crosses through a narrow double volume section directly above the Galley Kitchen. With all the wood details, Panorama Arquitectos refrained from continuing the wood element on the beams and instead minimized the visual by giving them smooth finish and painting them out the same white as the kitchen wall.
The combination of white, glass and wood is used on both the inner volumes and the outdoor terrace for a cohesive continuance of all the living zones. While the indoor flooring and built in bed are clear coated, the terrace decking is left in a natural state, but natural wood is also presented within the home on the Master Bedroom wall that overlooks the kitchen. Glazings used throughout the home are framed in black powder coated steel that does not vary in its profile from window to door. Even the door to the terrace passes as window from the distance.
Photography by Cristobal Valdes