August 14, 2013

Perfectly Positioned: WMR’s Sea Ranch Retreat

The tiny hamlet of Matanzas, on Chile’s central coast, a three hours’ drive southwest of Santiago, has a big reputation as a windsurfer’s paradise. It’s also a serene backdrop to yoga. With stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, the rugged landscape bears more than a passing resemblance to coastal Northern California, and the rustic weekend retreat that WMR Arquitectos designed there, for an avid windsurfer and yoga enthusiast, captures something of a sea ranch vibe. The single-level, slope-roofed house, perched on the side of a steep grassy ridge overlooking the beach, is a place for quiet contemplation—and pulse-quickening Ashtanga.

It derives its poetics from the qualities of its surroundings,” Macarena Rabat says. She’s the R in WMR Arquitectos, along with fellow principals Felipe Wedeles and Jorge Manieu.

The path to the entry first passes a yoga patio perfect for sun salutations: open to the morning light but protected from down hill winds by wood slats. Inside, right past the entry, along yoga platform hugs the sliding glass doors that offer access to a narrow porch and the breathtaking vista beyond.The platform terminates at the guest suite. Both it and the master suite, at the opposite end of the house, face the ocean.

Between them, in the center of the 1,500-square-foot floor plan, the living-dining area and the kitchen share a sunken space. Walls here are pine from southern Chile, as they are in the rest of the house. The floor, meanwhile, is not the oak found elsewhere but black slate. Quarried in the nearby Andes, it keeps this light-as-air structure firmly anchored.

Project Team
Hernán Cortes: Woodwork. Washington Álvarezruai: Glasswork

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