Guna House by Pezo von Ellrichshausen is a concrete house designed on a grid system with a 8.5 square meter footprint at ground level and an upper volume expanded outward into a 20 square meters volume. By designing the ground level much smaller, it takes on the aesthetics of a pedestal but the reason for the smaller footprint at the base is to keep as much of the natural flora and fauna intact.
Within the center of the home is a void or interior courtyard and, with the exception of the corner rooms, all the rooms face both out towards to either the forest or the lagoon and inward to the courtyard.
Guna House is located in San Pedro de la Paz, Chile and is sited on a steep slope that leads down to a bay within a lagoon. The home is also surrounded by a woodland of eucalyptus trees and it is for this reason that it was important to keep the natural flora and fauna as an integral part of the final design.
The site is narrow and one must cross the garden to arrive at the main entrance.
A void within the lower volume leads both to the inner courtyard and to a stairwell leading to the social zone upstairs.
The concrete stairs are designed as both steps and platforms that can be used as outdoor seating or display purposes.
The dual-purpose stairs wrap the corner and repeat their design within the courtyard.
Two vertical slabs of concrete act like pillars and a square ceiling detail showcases where the other two sides of the pillar would be if it were square.
Even the stairs are based on a square grid.
Upstairs the two sliding doors that open onto the stairs have been fitted with safety rails to stop anyone from accidentally falling into the void.
The upper volume is based on a grid of four modules per side with the middle rooms facing the courtyard and views while the corners only face out to the views. Each room is square and a hallway runs between them and the courtyard.
First floor plan.
Second floor plan.
Pezo von Ellrichshausen
Photography by Pezo von Ellrichshausen
When designing a home out of concrete, the idea of creating a concrete box house is not new but it always amazes me how many different ways a concrete box can be interpreted.