Casa la Chinita: A Circular Vision in Chile’s Desert Oasis

Discover Casa la Chinita in Chile’s IV Region, a retreat designed in 2021 by DX Arquitectos. This vacation house beautifully blurs the lines between inside and out, inspired by unity and the surrounding wild Pacific. Its central terrace and cleverly hidden intimate spaces create a unique experience, harmonizing with the natural elements of the Atacama Desert gateway.

Modern wooden house with large glass doors surrounded by native plants.
Modern wooden house with large windows overlooking the sea.
Modern courtyard with wooden benches and lush planters viewed through large glass windows.
Modern living room with large windows and minimalist furniture.
Modern wooden house with large windows surrounded by coastal shrubbery.
Modern wooden house with large windows at dusk.
Circular modern home with lit interior by the ocean at dusk.
Aerial view of a circular modern house near a rugged coastline.

About Casa la Chinita

A Desert Oasis: Casa la Chinita

Casa la Chinita stands in the heart of Chile’s IV Region, right at the Atacama Desert’s doorstep. Designed to unite an extended family, this dwelling effortlessly brings together multiple generations. Shielded from the relentless northern sun and wind, it serves as a sanctuary for guests and family members alike.

Innovative Design and Intimacy

The house’s exterior, surrounded by a tall fence, leads first to a roofed terrace – the undisputed heart of the home. Here, everything converges. Then, the design transitions to the interior, featuring intimate spaces like bedrooms and bathrooms. These areas cleverly conceal behind closed doors, creating a visual illusion. This layout ensures constant views of the wild Pacific’s crashing waves, enhancing the home’s connection to nature.

Moreover, the architectural approach gradually blurs the lines between open and enclosed spaces. At the same time, it preserves the property’s expansive central courtyard. This courtyard is the essence of the home, tying together circulation, views, and access to various spaces.

The Birth of “La Chinita”

Casa la Chinita’s unique shape originated from a spontaneous gesture by our friend Francisca. During one of our initial design meetings, she expressed a desire for a unifying home, symbolized by a circular hand motion. This graceful, subtle movement inspired the project’s centrifugal/centripetal force, becoming its founding spirit.

As the design team unraveled the geometry of the foundational circle and its secants, the house naturally evolved. Striving to accommodate a necessarily orthogonal layout, the architects christened the house “La Chinita,” a name that resonates with its distinctive design and purpose.

Photography by Pablo Blanco Barros

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- by Matt Watts