Archi-World® Academy Portrait Project

In this section you will find a monthly presentation of an architectural project presented in the framework of our Archi-News magazine.

Casa Mirador, Valparaíso, Chile
Architects: Víctor Gubbins Browne, Gubbins arquitectos

With its concrete structure and façade, the holiday home of Victor Gubbins pays tribute to the architect Le Corbusier and to the Brutalist buildings

Recently erected on the South Pacific cliffs near Valparaiso, one of the most beautiful places in Chile, this private residence recalls clearly the Villa Savoye of Le Corbusier. The architect Victor Gubbins Browne has indeed visited it three times, meaning that his project reflects the memory of the renowned modernistic villa. It is also close to André Wogenscky’s approach, principal associate of Le Corbusier, who wants to move away from temporary fashions and influences. The proof is his “villa Chupin”. Further to the symbols of his period (geometrical volumes, piles, terrace-roof, rough concrete walls, fully glazed façade, huge sun protection, fluid interior space, cabin rooms,..) this holiday house stays, since almost fifty years, welcoming to the successive generations living styles and close to its wooded environment. One must point out that Victor Gubbins Browne has worked during seven years in André Wogenscky’s office, particularly on the projects for the competition on the Karlsruhe Theater, the Necker Hospital in Paris, the Culture and Youth House in Annecy and the Tinland House in Saint-Raphael.

Let’s come back to the Casa Mirador. The construction is distant from the ground to enable appreciating the ocean view and the landscape. On the structural side, the main level is supported by a smaller base, creating symmetric cantilevered balconies. This Brutalist style reminder, offering the material all its strength without any flourish, underlines the silence, the landscape and the balance between the forms. A ramp leads to a great space giving access to two terraces opening respectively on the ocean and the countryside. In the centre of this big double height volume, letting the morning and evening sun light penetrate, a spiral staircase accedes to a roof-terrace with a wonderful view on the whole region. Because of its situation and architecture the house can be seen from far away on the coast and from the land. Its architectural concept is close to the one of Casa Rotonda in Penalén Alto, showing a base geometry, a solar orientation and a communication with the site.

Less than two hours from Santiago, far from the city agitation, Victor Gubbins Browne appreciates very much his new house. “We like the Tunquen and Punta de Gallo landscape. We stay here as often as possible, because in this solitude we find our being, dedicating much time to reading, writing, walking and contemplation.”

Photos © Marcos Mendizábal