This Modular Home in Chile Has Us Seeing Red—in a Good Way

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By Michele Koh Morollo
The crimson dwelling, nestled in the Chilean commune of San José de Maipo, is composed of four modules stacked to form a cube-like structure.

Immediately striking for its scarlet hue, this 936-square-foot home by Santiago–based Felipe Assadi Arquitectos takes the form of a solid cube with part of its mass subtracted to create a double-height entrance terrace and a sloping roof.

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In the rural, mountainous section of the San José de Maipo commune in Chile's Cordillera Province, houses are commonly set within plots as large as 58,920 square feet. 

In the rural, mountainous section of the San José de Maipo commune in Chile's Cordillera Province, houses are commonly set within plots as large as 58,920 square feet. 

The distance between homes in the area allowed architect Felipe Assadi to make a grand gesture by painting the two-level house bright red to complement the intense green of the surrounding trees, and to "activate the relationship between the landscape and the project through contrast." 

The distance between homes in the area allowed architect Felipe Assadi to make a grand gesture by painting the two-level house bright red to complement the intense green of the surrounding trees, and to "activate the relationship between the landscape and the project through contrast." 

The openness and lightness of the design has the effect of drawing the expansive plot into the overall design scheme.

The openness and lightness of the design has the effect of drawing the expansive plot into the overall design scheme.

The front deck is designed like an extension of the facade and connects with the outdoors.

The front deck is designed like an extension of the facade and connects with the outdoors.

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Though this particular house was built on-site, Assadi designed the components to mimic prefabrication. 

Though this particular house was built on-site, Assadi designed the components to mimic prefabrication. 

Each floor is comprises two identical modules.

Each floor is comprises two identical modules.

The four modules, two on each floor, can be delivered to the site by trucks and assembled with cranes.

The four modules, two on each floor, can be delivered to the site by trucks and assembled with cranes.

A hallway on the upper level leads to a bathroom and overlooks the front terrace.

A hallway on the upper level leads to a bathroom and overlooks the front terrace.

The interior staircase cuts diagonally across the floor-to-ceiling windows.

The interior staircase cuts diagonally across the floor-to-ceiling windows.

The symmetry of the design allows for the incorporation of additional programs to the sides of the modules on both the lower or upper floors.

Assadi says that the color red is commonly used for homes in this part of Chile.

Assadi says that the color red is commonly used for homes in this part of Chile.

The houses in this area are very isolated, with no visual contact between houses.

The houses in this area are very isolated, with no visual contact between houses.

Sectional drawing

Sectional drawing

Floor plan drawing

Floor plan drawing

Project Credits: 

 Architecture: Felipe Assadi Arquitectos 

Builder: Jaime Osorio Tapia 

Structural and civil engineering: Mario Pinto 

Photography: Fernando Alda