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Highly private home lives large behind a fence and underground

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Only a telescopic “skylight” is visible from the street

A rectangular metallic volume with a glass window rises above a fenced wall. Aryeh Kornfeld

This ultra modern home in Santiago, Chile, is wrapped in glass, yet it feels totally private. Designed by Rodolfo Cañas, the Skylight Home hides behind a fence—only a metallic rooftop module containing a skylight is visible from the sidewalk.

The house makes the most of its compact, low-lying layout with a subterranean level that looks out onto a sunken courtyard. On the ground floor of the house are the main living spaces, including the kitchen, dining area, and living room, all boasting sleek, polished concrete floors.

An open living room with floating staircase in the center, and an dining area and kitchen in the background. Glass walls surround the space. Aryeh Kornfeld

The basement level, home to a bedroom and bathroom, is surprisingly airy thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows and a carved out lower-level courtyard that brings in lots of natural light without the worry of anyone peeping into the windows.

An angular floating staircase leads from one level to the next and looks like a giant modern sculpture cutting through the center of the house. The stairs eventually lead to a skylight and onto a flat rooftop terrance that the architect says could be used for a third level in the future.

A bedroom in basement with wood floors, concrete ceiling and wall, and a facade of glass walls covered with blinds. A bed with gray bedding sits i the center. Aryeh Kornfeld
A light-filled sunken courtyard, accessed from the basement level of the home, has a few trees. Aryeh Kornfeld