Subtle Sunken Beach House, Shipwreck or Ruin by the Sea?
Like a washed-up shipwreck or ancient waterside war fortress, this simple beach-front home by Izquierdo Lehmann in Chile seems very much a part of its environment – from the earth it is carved out of to the stacked stones that buttress the sides and keep the retaining walls from caving in.
Viewed from the sea, it looks like a modest-but-modern beach house. Viewed from inland and all one can see is five rectangular chimneys lined up on the site like geographical markers or gravestones. Behind the house sits a monumental sunken forecourt – a wind-blocked patio and garden space that again conjures up images of ancient ruins, like the leftover basement and footings of some castle by the sea.
The interior concrete walls are board-formed, leaving the impression of the wood slats that were erected for the pouring process and lending a further naturalistic feel to the inside rooms and spaces. Floor-to-ceiling glass walls in front and back also keep the environment close at hand on either side of the narrow-footprint plan.