SCL architecture sculpts gravity-defying 'caza GZ' in chile

SCL architecture sculpts gravity-defying 'caza GZ' in chile


sitting on a hill at the outskirts of santiago, chile, the caza GZ by SCL architecture (studio cáceres lazo) is a private residential project completed for a young chilean couple. initially, the plot posed a challenge with its remote location, steep topography and absence of roads to reach it. but since the clients were in no rush for the house to be built, the first two years have been dedicated to mining and creating a suitable access on site. by then, the project had resumed when the couple had their first child — which impacted the original program. in the end, with several meetings, the residence became perfectly tailor-made — owing its ‘raison d’etre’ to the unique scenery of the chicureo valley.

caza gz sits atop a steep hill on the outskirts of santiago
all images © pablo casals aguirre

SCL architecture reveals the project as a chain-like sequence of rooms, all fitting into a single floor. indeed, since the couple has been living in an apartment for quite a while, they felt very strongly about limiting the vertical expansion of the building. adding to that, a room without a view — no matter its purpose — was unimaginable for them. hence, common areas sit at the center with the master bedroom at one end and the children’s and guest rooms on another. this layout gives the clients a certain level of independence once the kids are older but most importantly, it allows all spaces to open up towards a charming view of the valley.

SCL architecture caza GZ santiago chile designboom
plan view



furthermore, given how the couple has requested a beach house feel for their home, the design deliberately avoids creating one-purpose spaces. in fact, the main different between a holiday home and a regular one is the lack of definition in the program boundaries. however, the chain-like layout of the project made it necessary to add a corridor that connects each zone without having to resort to a versailles style. the needed link is then broken, displaced and distorted, for pieces not to resemble a mundane corridor. one block became the sky-lit entrance hall/gallery spanning almost fives meters tall and showcasing the client’s art collection. the other, not as tall but twice as wide, became the children’s play/ study area. separating both units is a small patio.

SCL architecture caza GZ santiago chile designboom
view from the access terrace



living, kitchen and dining rooms are all integrated into a single space, enclosed by large windows at both sides that expand the fun to the adjacent covered and outdoor terraces when desired. boundaries are also blurred at the master bedroom, with just a big walk-in closet dividing it from the bathroom — eliminating doors completely. all in all, with its stretched ‘one floor’ design and intermingled program, the residence protruding from the hill at mid-height creates a gravity-defying image.

SCL architecture caza GZ santiago chile designboom
the master bedroom cantilever



both ends cantilevering freely, it seems like a balancing act. despite the effect, the house’s concrete slab rests safely over a podium defined by retaining walls of the same material. slim, slanted columns were added wherever extra support was needed. their irregular shape and inclination exaggerate the sensation of instability. on the outside, equitone© fiber-cement boards are used to clad the whole of the steel structure that arises from the slab and shapes the house. an air chamber between this skin and the inner envelope is placed to help with its thermal comfort. because of its color, cladding and concrete give the design a monolithic appearance, only subverted by the glass façade overlooking the panorama. this controlled material palette offers a constant monochromatic counterpoint to the extreme changes in color and vegetation that the site undergoes through the seasons.

SCL architecture caza GZ santiago chile designboom
entrance to the house is highlighted by a steel plate portico.

SCL architecture caza GZ santiago chile designboom
the house sits atop a concrete podium, overlooking the chicureo valley

SCL architecture caza GZ santiago chile designboom
view of the 4.5 meter-tall art gallery/entrance hall

SCL architecture caza GZ santiago chile designboom
living room and patio

SCL architecture caza GZ santiago chile designboom
the master bedroom

caza GZ santiago chile designboom
outdoor terrace connected to the master bedroom

caza GZ santiago chile designboom
detail of the cement cladding

caza GZ santiago chile designboom
the exterior terrace during a warm sunny day



project info: 


casa GZ
design team: daniel lazo and gabriel cáceres from studio cáceres lazo (SCL)
alejandra sepúlveda and john miller
chicureo, comuna de colina – santiago de chile
reinforced concrete, steel, glass, equitone fiber-cement panels
project period: 2012-2014

construction period: 2014-2016
built area:
280 sq.m



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: lea zeitoun | designboom

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