Raul House

33°51’51.03″S / 70°56’28.86″W

Magdalena Bernstein


Raul House is a second home, made for a good friend I met while we were building the Altamira school in 2000. When he finished school, Raúl’s son had a sad accident that left him disabled.

Years later, he and his wife chose a place for a weekend house, near Santiago, on the slopes of a mountain, overlooking the Aculeo lagoon.

The challenge was to achieve a work that, despite being in a place with a rugged topography, was comfortable, wide in its circulation and that worked mainly on a single level. In addition to this, it had to be simple and easy to maintain.

Somehow this commission meant for me to think again in the way of my mother’s house, that is to say, remove everything accessory from my head and refine the commission under a slogan of pragmatic austerity.

When I carried out this project, given the friendship and trust with the client, I did it as if it were a house for myself.

A couple of years after the work was finished, Raúl was forced to sell it, and he asked me to help him in this undertaking.

I asked him for the keys to take some pictures, and when I got to the place and looked at the lagoon from the terrace, I called him to tell him that it was already sold. He was very surprised with this information due to the speed of the operation, until I told him that I was the one who bought it.

Since then to date I have tried to carry out a series of exterior works in stone, in order to tame the hill in its own right.

Casa Raúl has thus become our weekend family refuge. (It is only 45 minutes from our Casa Estudio).

We take advantage of it several times a month, harvesting some vegetables from the garden, cooking the things we like to eat the most, wasting entire afternoons watching movies all together in bed or sailing on the lagoon.