In an effort to beat the intense Chilean heat without compromising views of Santiago, local architectural firm Biourban Arquitectos has designed a bioclimatic home in La Reina that combines passive solar principles with high energy performance materials. Dubbed the H.D. House, the site-specific dwelling features two floors — each built of different materials with contrasting textures and colors — that are optimized for thermal resistance.
The H.D. House’s rectilinear lower floor is built with a structural shell of reinforced concrete, while the walls consist of aerated concrete blocks left exposed. In contrast, the upper level comprises a system of galvanized steel profiles clad in pine with an oak-colored varnish to improve the structure’s thermal resistance. The roof features a triple insulation system, and all windows include the use of thermo panels.
“The house uses bioclimatic strategies for the different facades and orientations of the project,” the architects explained. “The main facade faces west toward the city and has a mobile facade with sunscreens that generate a ventilated double skin on the second floor. In addition, there is a double-height interior courtyard that enhances the Venturi effect and cross ventilation, producing air movements that improve the environmental quality of the house. These air flows can be easily controlled by opening or grouping the sunscreens.”
The best views of Santiago are enjoyed from the second floor, where the master suite and extra bedrooms are located, as is a long curved balcony that faces west. Installing mobile screens across the length of the curved facade proved to be one of the main challenges of the project, as they not only had to provide protection from the sun but also needed the ability to be grouped together in different configurations. The result is a bioclimatic home with an appearance that continually shifts depending on the outside conditions and the needs of the homeowner.
Photography by Aryeh Kornfeld via Biourban Arquitectos