Casa MO by Gonzalo Mardones Viviani nestles against Chile's coastline

Casa MO by Gonzalo Mardones Viviani nestles against the coastline in Chile

This coastal home in Chile by architect Gonzalo Mardones Viviani is set down into a cliff so as not to disrupt sea views from the road running alongside (+ slideshow).

Casa MO by Gonzalo Mardones Viviani & Asociado

Located in the seaside town of Zapallar, Casa MO was designed by Santiago-based Gonzalo Mardones Viviani to take advantage of its picturesque location without becoming a visual barrier between the road and the sea.

Casa MO by Gonzalo Mardones Viviani & Asociado

To achieve this, the base of the three-storey residence is partially submerged underground and the middle level nestles against the rock face. This allows the roof to become a continuation of the road surface.

Casa MO by Gonzalo Mardones Viviani & Asociado

"The house is buried with clearly no intention to interrupt the wonderful view to the horizon from the public road," said Mardones Viviani, "so it is accessed by stairs and ramps going deep into the mountain to discover again – from inside the house – the sea, coast and breaker."

Casa MO by Gonzalo Mardones Viviani & Asociado

The entire structure was built from reinforced concrete, making the building robust enough to withstand earthquakes. Titanium dioxide was also added to lighten the appearance of the material.

Casa MO by Gonzalo Mardones Viviani & Asociado

Parts of the roof are paved in grey tiles, creating a parking area for up to three cars, while other areas have been covered in white stone.

Casa MO by Gonzalo Mardones Viviani & Asociado

"The cover has been carefully worked as a fifth facade finished in white stone, as it is the main facade of the house from the external road," said the architect.

Casa MO by Gonzalo Mardones Viviani & Asociado

A long external staircase leads down from the roof to the house's entrance on the middle floor – the level where the majority of rooms are located.

Casa MO by Gonzalo Mardones Viviani & Asociado

The kitchen, dining area and living space all have a room of their own and can be found at the southern end of the plan, while a series of bedrooms, with differing sizes and levels of privacy, are tucked away at the northern end.

Casa MO by Gonzalo Mardones Viviani & Asociado

The whole interior is painted white to enhance feelings of lightness and airiness. There are also numerous skylights, courtyards and glazed walls to help bring in as much daylight as possible.

Casa MO by Gonzalo Mardones Viviani & Asociado

The master bedroom occupies the uppermost floor – a rectilinear volume that cantilevers out towards the view. Underneath, a sea-facing terrace spans the length of the property, partially sheltered beneath a canopy of slender beams.

Casa MO by Gonzalo Mardones Viviani & Asociado

The lowest level accommodates a lounge that opens out the house's private swimming pool.

Casa MO by Gonzalo Mardones Viviani & Asociado

A selection of artworks are on display inside the building, some of which sit within recesses in the walls.

Casa MO by Gonzalo Mardones Viviani & Asociado

Cedar was used for joinery throughout the building, including for doors and window frames.

Casa MO by Gonzalo Mardones Viviani & Asociado

Photography is by Nico Saieh.


Project credits:

Architect: Gonzalo Mardones Viviani
Engineer: Ruiz y Saavedra
Lighting Designer: Paulina Sir

Casa MO by Gonzalo Mardones Viviani & Asociado
Lower level plan – click for larger image
Casa MO by Gonzalo Mardones Viviani & Asociado
Middle level plan – click for larger image
Casa MO by Gonzalo Mardones Viviani & Asociado
Upper level plan – click for larger image
Casa MO by Gonzalo Mardones Viviani & Asociado
Section one – click for larger image
Casa MO by Gonzalo Mardones Viviani & Asociado
Section two – click for larger image
Casa MO by Gonzalo Mardones Viviani & Asociado
Section three – click for larger image
Casa MO by Gonzalo Mardones Viviani & Asociado
Section four – click for larger image
Casa MO by Gonzalo Mardones Viviani & Asociado
Section five – click for larger image
Casa MO by Gonzalo Mardones Viviani & Asociado
Section six – click for larger image