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Mathias Klotz


Chilean architect , Mathias Klotz (Viña del Mar, 1965) is one of the major exponents of Modernist movement.
After graduating from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile in 1990, he worked on the design and construction of numerous houses, mainly in Chile (Klotz, Muller, Ugarte), in particular in Santiago. His first work outside Latin America was the Valtocado House in Mijas, Spain in 2012.

His work is firmly rooted in modern architecture and during his career he has developed a distinctive style". Klotz’s large body of work is characterized by his masterly use of simple materials, formal elegance combined with abstractism, and the rural locations and open spaces typical of the Chilean landscape.

Casa Klotz (1991) is a small house-refuge constructed overlooking the Pacific Ocean. A white parallelepiped which the architect considers a reference model for its simplicity. The building has specific design features such as sharp corners and a floating effect due to the slight elevation, yet at the same time it blends perfectly into the almost uninhabited beach setting. The effect is even more evident when looking out from inside the house.
The Roca House (2008) is a refuge located in San José, a fishing village to the north of Punta del Este overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Set on a double slope over rocks and the ruins of a pre-existing building, La Roca comprises two box-like structures at the same height, with a sequence of rooms “from the most public to the most private, running through terraces, patios, exteriors, intervening spaces and inside rooms and finally arriving at the main bedroom. Blending perfectly into the surrounding landscape, due to a series of visual illusions, such as the sensation of the structures emerging from the rocks, La Roca features numerous energy performance improvements including gray water recycling for gardens, roofs with succulent plants that improve thermal quality, a gallery which captures heat in winter and a bedroom which acts as a chimney in summer thus avoiding the need for air conditioning.

Numerous house projects include Casa Ponce in Buenos Aires (2002) with its elevated structures and feeling of weightlessness and Casa 11 Mujeres (2007), created in bare concrete with travertine floors, and located on a steep slope which offers a splendid view of Cachagua beach on the Pacific Ocean from every room. Casa Techos, which overlooks Nahuel Huapi Lake, Argentina (2008), is a concrete, wood and copper construction and the Hunter Douglas Chile Project (2007-2012), features a combination of new construction and reuse of existing spaces, in addition to reorganizing the building, and future development of an industrial plant.

While continuing to design houses, over the years Klotz has also worked on hotels, industrial and commercial buildings, as well as street furniture and exhibition stands.
This body of work includes the small Terrantai Hotel in San Pedro (1996), where Klotz reprises local history up to pre-Inca ruins in his designs.
The project features common spaces connected by tunnels, a paved open-air corridor, two courtyards with wooden roofs and shrubs. The Terrantai is considered a "manifesto for integrating modern and local culture (...) a meeting point of design and tradition, where architectural elements evoke points of interest in transmitting a message which complements tourism requirements in the complex. (A. Scotto, ABITARE n. 382, 1999).
Klotz combines his architecture work with teaching, not only in Chile (Università Centrale and Cattolica) but also in Italy, Argentina, Mexico, Spain as a guest and visiting professor.
In 2003 he was nominated President of the Faculty of Architecture and Design at Università Diego Portales.

Clarity of shapes and volumes in his work, and their blending into the landscape have made Klotz one of the most widely followed and studied figures among a new generation of architects, with a reputation that goes beyond South America. The Poetics of Boxes, an exhibition of his projects, was held at the Aedes Gallery in Berlin (2013).

Significant awards include the Borromini Prize for Architecture in 2001, for the Altamira School project on the outskirts of Santiago de Chile (1997).
The jury noted the enormous energy and spatial evocativeness, achieved through extraordinarily simple means. The natural landscape, conformation of the terrain, surrounding city, classrooms and student activities, production and economic conditions are all subsumed in the project as basic elements and are expertly and sensitively interpreted through superb quality architecture (…) designed for a real city and real needs, with elegance and without arrogance.
Other important awards are the Green Good Design Award in 2010 with the Central Library for Diego Portales University, which also won a Holcim Award in 2011.

In 2014 he won the Rogelio Salmona Award for Latin American architecture for Barrio Universitario di Santiago (BUS) together with Ricardo Abuauad, and in 2015 won an award for his Institutional Contribution to Architecture given by the Asociación de Oficinas de Arquitectura, Chile.
Mathias Klotz selected works and projects
- House 1-1 Las Musas, Josè Ignacio, Punta Del Este (Uruguay), 2018
- Residenza estiva "Francisca House", Isla Coldita (Cile), 2015
- Gleim 52, Berlino (Germania), 2014
- Gemelas House, Santiago (Cile), 2014
- Complesso residenziale "Seis Buildings", Santiago (Cile), 2012
- Perez Maggi House, Santiago (Cile), 2013
- Hunter Douglas, Santiago (Cile), 2012
- Palacio Astoreca Hotel, Valparaiso (Cile), 2012
- Essbio Rancagua Water Tower, Rancagua (Cile), 2012
- Valtocado House, Mijas (Spagna), 2012
- Club House, Arena de Garzòn (Uruguay), 2012
- Biblioteca Nicanor Parra, Santiago (Cile), 2012
- Schnitzer House, Cantagua (Cile), 2011
- Casa Bitran, Cantagua (Cile), 2009
- Casa Techos, Nord del lago Nahuel Huapi (Argentina), 2008
- Raùl House, Laguna de Aculeo (Cile), 2007
- Residenza estiva "Eleven Women", Cantagua (Cile), 2007
- La Roca House, Josè Ignacio, Punta Del Este (Uruguay), 2008
- Facoltà di Economia, Universidad Diego Portales - UDP, Santiago (Cile), 2004
- Facoltà di Scienze della Salute - UDP, Santiago (Cile), 2004
- Abitazione unifamiliare “Casa Ponce”, Buenos Aires (Argentina), 2002
- Colegio Altamira (Altamira School), Santiago (Cile), 2000
- Cantina “Las Niñas”, Santa Cruz (Cile), 2000
- Residenza estiva “Casa Reutter”, Cantagua (Cile), 1998
- Casa Ugarte, Maitencillo Sur (Cile), 1998
- Sede commerciale e uffici Pizarras Ibericas, Santiago del Cile (Cile), 1997
- Hotel Terrantai, S. Pedro de Atacama (Cile), 1996
- Casa Muller, Isla Grande di Chiloe (Cile), 1994
- Casa Klotz, Tongoy (Cile), 1991
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