Chilean architect Gonzalo Mardones Viviani recently completed the Ignacia Apartments in the Vitacura neighborhood of Santiago. Mardones built this set of four apartments to maximize the use of natural light while incorporating modern elements to enhance the sustainability of the homes, which are located in Chile’s crowded capital of 5 million people. The apartments’ creative layout allow for luxuries such as swimming pools while offering panoramic views of both Santiago’s leafy parks and the Andes Mountains.
The project started out with each owner purchasing square footage instead of an assigned space. Mardones and his team then worked to create each apartment within the building’s three complete floors, its rooftop area and a basement space. Each apartment has a unique layout and a minimum of two floors. The result is a spatial interplay vertically and horizontally, with balconies and large windows allowing sunlight to provide natural illumination.
The apartments’ sustainable design starts with solar panels on top of the building that reduce the energy needed from the local grid. Rooms face to the north so that they can keep cool in the summer. The interior walls are all painted white, allowing all rooms to stay bright even during the shorter winter days. Doors, windows and flooring are made out of locally sourced cedar. And as a counter to Santiago’s notorious air pollution, the exterior smog-eating concrete facade features titanium dioxide that breaks up particulates and reduces pollutants by up to 60 percent. As a result each apartment owner can breath easily thanks to the building’s natural ventilation, has plenty of privacy and yet can enjoy the eclectic and airy space that offer a respite in noisy and bustling Santiago.
Photos via Gonzalo Mardones Viviani