There are lots of obvious perks to living directly on the coast: an amazing vista stretched out as far as the eye can see, fresh sea air forever blowing over the crashing waves, the incredible ability to enter directly into Nature simply by stepping out the front door. The unceasing elements, however, can really take a toll on structures built on the shore. In Huentelauquén, Chile, 01ARQ designed Casa W, a home that manages to take advantage of the locale while still protecting against the elements.
In order to maximize the expansive, unbroken views, floor-to-ceiling double-glazed windows line the entirety of the sea-facing side of the house. As an added bonus, the framed panes are set on tracks that allow them to slide open and let the breeze blow through—not a bad feature for a warm night, drinking a beer as night falls. The interior is characterized by clean-but-comfortable whites and dark-wood paneling, with a standalone fireplace separating the living and dining areas. Minimal landscaping of a few cacti line the exterior of the property, so as not to compete with the rocky shores.
Perhaps the most unique feature of the site are the private courtyards formed by the custom shape of Casa W, which is essentially a block-letter U: a strip of living area, with two open-air adjuncts on either end. Situated behind the open-plan front room is a shielded square that functions as a small private beach—especially clever, as the sightline still manages to run straight through to the horizon. So, even on the windiest day, it’s still possible to feel the sun shining on your face—sans sandstorm.