Welcome to Archifacts, a new Curbed column in which we explore the work of lesser-known yet equally press-worthy architects. Know a blueprint star who isn't getting their due? Drop us a line.
The Chilean architecture firm dRN, founded in 2005 by Nicolás del Río and Max Núñez, has turned out plenty of compelling and innovative homes. For the past five years, dRN has produced the type of spare, efficient houses that could be perfect for the young American tired of the McMansion. They've somehow slipped under the radar of the American shelter press, but have been published extensively in the South American and European rags. So what's keeping them out of the U.S.? We're not sure, but we do know their skills would translate well to North America.
Take this hillside bachelor pad above Santiago, Chile (above). Wouldn't it make a welcome addition to the Hollywood Hills or the slopes above Malibu? Measuring in at just 2,475 square feet, its certainly no McMansion, but it packs plenty of enjoyment into that little space—talk about a pool with a view! The emphasis here is on quality materials and pure forms, and you can count us impressed. But please, let's get these guys some stateside commissions.
? Well suited, perhaps, to a rocky site on the New England coast, the 2009 dRN product "La Baronia" utilizes rustic materials, construction techniques, and finishes to ensure that the building doesn't distract from the tremendous ocean views. The power of simplicity at work.
? Another dRN waterfront construct, 2009's "House at Punta Chilen," delivers loft-like living space and walls of glass without resorting to interior columns. Instead, the roof is supported by irregular steel trusses that make for a whimsical second floor, while the first floor consists of steel girders and plate-glass windows arranged in a regular pattern. The resulting contrast is not only functional, but eye-catching. With some proper hurricane shutters, this place has Florida Keys written all over it.