Literal Beach House: Oceanfront Summer Home Sits on Stilts


Renting a luxury villa to go on holiday is nice and all … but if you are going to spend a lazy summer (or more) on your own piece of private shoreline, why not go all the way to the edge and put your house literally right on top of the beach?

Designed by DRN Architects (pictures by Felipe Camus), this lovely little wood home sits on the Pacific Ocean along the coast of Chile and serves as an optionally seasonal or full-time beach residence. Surrounded by sand (and sometimes even surf) on all sides, this otherwise modest-looking modern box is raised on like a la Corbusier classic on wooden stilts (sunk into concrete footings and joined by steel plates) that resemble marine piers in both form and function.

Atop these angular supports sits a condo that is both comfortable and contemporary, private but able to be opened up to ocean breezes, natural light and amazing views out over the horizon. A wrap-around patio on the second floor has full-height sliding doors for maximum connectivity between indoors and outside, while a rooftop deck adds yet another layer of semi-public gathering space.

As structural solutions go, the use of repetitive wood trusses, wood decking, stairs and footpaths make this beach house a natural fit for a semi-aquatic environment but also an aesthetic match to other forms of nautical architecture. The layout is nothing new and the plan is not extreme, showing just how much small design choices can go a long way toward making a place feel like home.

Bedrooms are tucked in the back and walls to one side (on which there are neighbors) are considerably more closed off, cutting out unwanted connections to adjacent beach-front properties. And the block below? Aside from stabilizing the upper structure, it contains a guest bedroom – but visitors staying for more than just a weekend or so beware: your vacation may be cut short if the tides rise high enough.

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