House In Los Vilos

This is a house planned for a beautiful site on the shore of the Pacific Ocean in Chile. The project involves eight Japanese architects invited to design one house each, together with eight houses designed by Chilean architects. A residential development of sixteen houses is formed, to which this house belongs.

©Office of Ryue Nishizawa

©Office of Ryue Nishizawa

The location of this house is at the tip of a small promontory into the Pacific. The configuration matches the shape of the promontory landscape, in a long narrow space with floors that rise and fall in accordance with the contours of the site, sheltered with a roof above.

©Office of Ryue Nishizawa

©Philippe Godoy

The roof descends to the ground in places and gently divides the space beneath into segments, which determine the form. There are no walls to speak of- it is like a building of ground and roof only in the midst of abundant nature. Toward the tip of the cape facing the magnificent views is the public zone including the dining room, while private spaces such as bedroom are placed away from the sea in calmness.

©Philippe Godoy

©Philippe Godoy

©Philippe Godoy

In terms of structure, arches that connect diagonally-arranged landing points make it possible to create large spans while opening various directions toward the surrounding landscape. The space comes with a diversity of openness that can never be achieved with classic arch structures such as the vault roof.

©Philippe Godoy

With sinuous connection the roof gives a sense of volume seemingly smaller than the actual floor area, while creating a landscape-like continuity that aims for harmony with the wild and beautiful natural setting.

©Philippe Godoy

Location : Los Vilos, Chile



Ryue Nishizawa was born in Tokyo and studied architecture at the Yokohama National University. He joined Kazuyo Sejima & Associates in 1990. In 1995, with Kazuyo Sejima, he founded the Tokyo-based firm SANAA. Nishizawa established his independent practice, Office of Ryue Nishizawa, in 1997. Nishizawa and Sejima were jointly awarded the Pritzker Prize in 2010. Amongst other awards, Nishizawa was declared Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France and received the Prize of Architectural Institute of Japan for the Teshima Art Museum. He is currently a professor at Yokohama Graduate School of Architecture (Y-GSA).


1966: Born in Tokyo, Japan

1990: M.Arch. Yokohama National University

1990: Joined Kazuyo Sejima & Associates

1995: Established SANAA with Kazuyo Sejima

1997: Established Office of Ryue Nishizawa

2001 – 2010: Associate Professor at Yokohama National University

2005 – 2006: Visiting Professor at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland

2005 – 2008: Visiting Professor at Princeton University, USA

2007: Visiting Professor at Harvard Graduate School of Design, USA

2010 – : Professor at Yokohama Graduate School of Architecture (Y-GSA), Yokohama National University


Main Awards

1998: The Prize of Architectural Institute of Japan (for Multi-media Workshop), Tokyo, Japan*

2000: First Prize in Residential Architecture (for Weekend House), Tokyo Society of Architects & Building Engineers

2004: Golden Lion for Most Significant Work of the Metamorph Exhibition, 9th International Architecture Biennale de Venezia, Italy*

2006: The Prize of Architectural Insititute of Japan (for 21st Century Museum), Tokyo, Japan*

2007: The Kunstpreis Berlin (Berlin Art Prize), Berlin, Germany*

2010: Pritzker Architecture Prize 2010*

2011: Officier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France

2012: The Prize of Architectural Institute of Japan (for Teshima Art Museum), Tokyo, Japan. 25th Murano Togo Prize, Japan

2013: Prix de l’Équerre d’Argent (for Louvre-Lens Museum), Paris, France*

2016: Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize, Chicago, USA* American Institute of Architecture Honor Award, Washington, D.C., USA*

2017: Mainichi Design Prize, Japan

2019: The 5th Yoshizaka Takamasa Award, Japan

2019: The Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Architecture, Virginia, USA*  * =collaboration with Kazuyo Sejima / SANAA



Major Works

1998: Weekendhouse, Gunma, Japan

2000: TAKEO Head Office, Tokyo, Japan

2001: House in Kamakura, Kanagawa, Japan

2003: Space design for “Love Planet” exhibition, Kagawa, Japan

2004: Funabashi Apartment, Chiba, Japan.

2004: Benesse art site Naoshima office, Kagawa, Japan

2005: Moriyama House, Tokyo, Japan

2006: House A, Japan

2007: TKG Daikanyama (interior), Tokyo, Japan

2008: Towada Art Center, Aomori, Japan

2008: Nagai Garou, Tokyo, Japan

2010: Teshima Art Museum, Kagawa, Japan

2010: Kumamoto Station East Exit Square, Kumamoto, Japan

2011 Garden & House, Tokyo, Japan

2011: Hiroshi Senju Museum Karuizawa, Nagano, Japan

2011: Pavilion of the 12th Istanbul Art Biennale, Istanbul, Turkey

2012: Shinkenchikusha Kasumigaseki Office (interior), Tokyo, Japan

2013: Fukita Pavilion, Shodoshima, Kagawa, Japan

2013: Roof and Mushroom Pavilion, Kyoto, Japan

2014: Terasaki House, Kanagawa, Japan

2014: Ikuta Church, Kanagawa, Japan

2014: Cawaii Bread & Coffee (interior), Tokyo, Japan

2016 Tokuda House, Kyoto, Japan

2016: Okamura Design Space R wooden partition (interior), Tokyo, Japan

2016: Shodoshima-Fukutake House (interior), Shodoshima, Kagawa, Japan

2017: Atelier, Tokyo, Japan

2018: O House, Tokyo, Japan

2018: Inujima Stay 1, Okayama, Japan

2019: Jining Fine Art Museum, Jining, China

2019: Morimoto House, Aichi, Japan

2019: Inujima Stay 2, Okayama, Japan

2019: House in Los Vilos, Los Vilos, Chile

2019: Six Office (interior), Tokyo, Japan

2020: I House, Japan