Marcelo Rios's disdain for grass evident in House RP


August 4, 2013

House RP would look right at home in George Lucas sci-fi movie THX 1138 (Photo: Nico Saieh)

House RP would look right at home in George Lucas sci-fi movie THX 1138 (Photo: Nico Saieh)

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Designed by Chilean architect Gonzalo Mardones Viviani to serve as family home to compatriot and former tennis star Marcelo Rios, House RP features a futuristic-looking design that would look right at home in George Lucas sci-fi movie THX 1138.

Like the Caterpillar House we recently covered, House RP is located in the foothills of Santiago de Chile, and affords stunning views of the local area. A green roof was originally planned for the home, but the client's feelings about grass – at Wimbledon in 1997 he said that grass is "for cows and soccer" – resulted in synthetic grass being adopted instead.

The faux-green roof still serves a practical purpose, though, as it was placed on rafters, creating an air bed that protects the structure from direct sunlight and helps to maintain a lower temperature inside.

To lend the home its brilliant white appearance, Gonzalo Mardones Viviani added titanium dioxide to the concrete during construction. Intriguingly, one of the potential added bonuses of this approach could be an exterior finish that helps reduce air pollution. While the architects avoid directly making this claim, they do point out that recent nanotechnology studies have indicated that such effects are possible.

Indeed, as we reported back in 2010, researchers have for some time been researching the effects of adding titanium dioxide to concrete and its potential for creating for self-cleaning walls, garden furniture, and walls.

House RP was completed earlier this year.

Source: Gonzalo Mardones Viviani via Arch Daily

About the Author
Adam Williams Adam scours the globe from his home in North Wales in order to bring the best of innovative architecture and sustainable design to the pages of Gizmag. Most of his spare time is spent dabbling in music, tinkering with old Macintosh computers and trying to keep his even older VW bus on the road. All articles by Adam Williams

In THX1138 the city and all known living areas were underground!! This home would be better compared to STAR TREK,SLEEPER, both TOTAL RECALL movies,and several other future movie sets.


I need to know the cost per square meter. I might be building on a lot at Galt's Gulch, Chile, 45 minutes from Santiago.

Don Duncan

Making the reference to THX 1138 says bad things about the house.


It's the house from Beetlejuice.


Where we live we are constantly cutting grass, putting fertilizer down and attempt our best to make area look like a picture book surrounding. What a waste and we are killing our environment, unfortunately the local HOA won't budge with alternatives.

I would love to see heavy blanketing covered with large pebbles displaying some great landscaping, which requires almost no water or maintenance. I few complimentary plants which would avoid the barren look would be all that's required.

Robert Filzbock
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