Smiljan Radić Casa para el Poema del Ángulo Recto, Vilches, Chile 2010–2012

  • Not on view

Radić’s House for the Poem of the Right Angle is a contemporary take on the single-family home, a dwelling type that throughout modern architectural history has served as a laboratory for new ideas and spatial concepts. The use of concrete as a principal material in the building’s construction allows for the sculptural expression of its structure. Painted black and with a minimal number of apertures, the house seems detached from its surroundings. This sense of opacity is countered by the fully glazed, transparent interior courtyard around which the living spaces are grouped and by dramatically projecting, trapezoidal skylights that frame ever-changing views of the surrounding trees. A long exterior ramp on the south side invites the visitor into the promenade that unfolds in the interior. The drama of the house is unveiled along these seeming contradictions between interior and exterior, which are resolved in a compelling spatial sequence. In addition to this model, the project is represented in MoMA’s collection through drawings, photographs, and digital construction files, indicative of the technological arsenal employed in contemporary architecture practice.

Situated some two hundred miles south of Santiago in a secluded forest, the house is the weekend retreat for the family of the architect, a notable figure among his generation in Chile. The design of its biomorphic structure was inspired by the Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier’s Poem of the Right Angle (1947–53), a series of nineteen lithographs that epitomize his spatial poetics.

Publication excerpt from MoMA Highlights: 375 Works from The Museum of Modern Art, New York (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2019)
23 5/8 x 47 1/4 x 31 1/2" (60 x 120 x 80 cm)
Fund for the Twenty-First Century
Object number
Architecture and Design

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