Rough-sawn pine used to build low-cost Hostal Ritoque in Chile

Rough-sawn pine used to build low-cost Hostal Ritoque in Chile

Chilean architects Alejandro Soffia and Gabriel Rudolphy were set a strict budget for this seaside guesthouse complex, so they used standard dimensions to get as much value as possible out of their building materials (+ slideshow).

Chile Hostal Ritoque by Gabriel Rudolphy and Alejandro Soffia

Located at the northern end of a beach in Quintero, part of Chile's Valparaíso Region, Hostal Ritoque is made up of five buildings – a trio of two-storey guesthouses, a communal facilities building and a small apartment for the owner.

Chile Hostal Ritoque by Gabriel Rudolphy and Alejandro Soffia

Alejandro Soffia and Gabriel Rudolphy delivered the complex for just over £400 per square metre by basing their design around the standard proportions of locally available sawn pine.

Chile Hostal Ritoque by Gabriel Rudolphy and Alejandro Soffia

"In general, high-level architectural production is associated with improper use of costly materials, which produces an equality gap to the extent that the benefits of good design can only be taken advantage of by those that can afford it," explained the architects.

Chile Hostal Ritoque by Gabriel Rudolphy and Alejandro Soffia

"We have opted to design projects that optimise the material conditions of building systems that are low-cost and technologically simple," they continued. "Capitalising on the dimensional properties of construction materials allows us to take advantage of materials so as to reduce the times and costs involved in a work of architecture."

Chile Hostal Ritoque by Gabriel Rudolphy and Alejandro Soffia

The architects began the project by contacting local suppliers and contractors, putting together a catalogue of building techniques and materials that could be found without excessive transportation costs.

Chile Hostal Ritoque by Gabriel Rudolphy and Alejandro Soffia

They then set about developing a series of architectural volumes that could be constructed within those parameters.

Chile Hostal Ritoque by Gabriel Rudolphy and Alejandro Soffia

The result is a row of simple boxy volumes that are raised up on log columns so they barely make contact with the uneven terrain below.

Chile Hostal Ritoque by Gabriel Rudolphy and Alejandro Soffia

"Our conceptual concerns for good, low-cost design coincided with the equilibrium point between the client's wishes and his budget," added Soffia and Rudolphy.

Chile Hostal Ritoque by Gabriel Rudolphy and Alejandro Soffia

The three buildings designated for guest accommodation are located at the southern end of the site. Each one has a bedroom and bathroom on the lower level and a double bedroom above.

Chile Hostal Ritoque by Gabriel Rudolphy and Alejandro Soffia

Walls, floors and ceilings have all been left as exposed pine. Both levels are also fronted by glazed doors that slide open, leading onto balconies with views out to sea.

Chile Hostal Ritoque by Gabriel Rudolphy and Alejandro Soffia

At the northern end of the site is a compact studio apartment for the owner, while the block sandwiched in between is the communal building offering generous living, dining and kitchen facilities for him and his guests.

Chile Hostal Ritoque by Gabriel Rudolphy and Alejandro Soffia

Elevated terraces have been slotted in between the buildings, with staircases leading up to them from the beach.

Chile Hostal Ritoque by Gabriel Rudolphy and Alejandro Soffia

Photography is by Alejandro Soffia, Pablo Casals-Aguirre and Juan Durán.


Project credits:

Client: Diego Arenas, Dayenú Vencilla
Architects: Alejandro Soffia, Gabriel Rudolphy
Structure: José Manuel Morales, Gabriel Rudolphy
Contractors: Juan Tapia, Francisco Tapia, Diego Arenas

Chile Hostal Ritoque by Gabriel Rudolphy and Alejandro Soffia
Site plan – click for larger image
Chile Hostal Ritoque by Gabriel Rudolphy and Alejandro Soffia
Typical guesthouse floor plans – click for larger image
Chile Hostal Ritoque by Gabriel Rudolphy and Alejandro Soffia
Modular construction diagram – click for larger image
Chile Hostal Ritoque by Gabriel Rudolphy and Alejandro Soffia
Section one – click for larger image
Chile Hostal Ritoque by Gabriel Rudolphy and Alejandro Soffia
Section two – click for larger image