When a family with three children sought a modern refresh for their aging home in the commune of Las Condes in Santiago, they turned to local architecture firm Cristobal Vial Arquitectos to lead the redesign. The house — which belongs to a set of 25 one-story homes originally designed by architects Christian de Groote, Victor Gubbins and Hector Mery — already enjoys access to two gardens, one to the north and the other to the south. The green renovation emphasized these garden views by stripping away unnecessary additions, and in the process created a more open and contemporary living environment.

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stone walkway to entrance of white home

The green renovation and expansion of the home, dubbed the Golfo de Darien House, covers a total area of 213 square meters. The original structure — reinforced masonry, slab and reinforced concrete beams — was kept while many of the timeworn modifications added over the years were stripped away. Even the chimney was removed in favor of a floating concrete wall that does double duty as a space divider and shelf. Two “light yards” and a new skylight funnel greater light and sense of spaciousness indoors.

gray living room with blue couches and colorful wall art

dining room with wood table and wood wall with floating shelves

To further update the 1970 home and improve the building’s energy efficiency, the architects installed a new heating system that uses a high-efficiency aerothermal heat pump and radiant slab system. Thermopanel crystals were added to all the openings.

Related: Crusty old Swiss barn transformed into a modern solar-powered home

wooden outdoor patio with four gray sofas

grassy yard outside concrete home

“The consolidation of the three courtyards of the house, allows a fluid journey, in a same level,” the architect said. “For the intermediate courtyard a wooden deck is projected, which gives greater warmth and permanence to the space. The predominant materials used in this work are wood, stone, glass, steel and exposed concrete, always trying to put in value the original structure and adding a contemporary language that not only accounts for its interior, but more well of a whole that integrates the vegetation to the work.”

+ Cristobal Vial Arquitectos

Images via Cristóbal Vial