Klotz House

30°18’1.43″S / 71°32’47.67″O


Tongoy, Chile


The Klotz House, which in reality should be called the Germain House, was commissioned by my mother, who at the age of 48 had inherited some money from my grandmother and asked me to build a house on the beach. This was a dream she had not achieved with my father, from whom she had recently separated.
With a budget of 20,000 dollars and a site on an uninhabited, rather remote beach, I considered creating a kind of refuge that would be low cost and require little maintenance, making it easy to come and go. I sketched it out during an airplane flight on a sheet of half-centimeter squared graph paper and then made a scale model I still have today. I presented this to my mother, she approved it, and then didn’t return to the site until the structure was complete. Fortunately she was happy with it and we completed it according to the original plan, with no changes. (To date, it is the only project I have completed without making changes).
On September 17, 1991, on the occasion of my mother’s 49th birthday, we inaugurated the building amidst an unusual storm that soaked the house inside and out. It was a kind of baptism. Since then we go to this refuge every year to spend the summer and on occasional long weekends. As for the importance of the house, I have to admit that setting aside published works and professional recognition, the project served and continues to serve as a starting point and endpoint insofar as it represents what I consider to be the essential aspects of a building.