Heir to a long tradition of adapting the vernacular of modern architecture’s paradigms, Mathias Klotz’s approach weaves references to 20th-century avant-gardes with an affirmation of the Chilean cultural and geographic context. “The South American landscape opened the possibility of an even more meaningful poetic art. This long and narrow country, at the end of the world, seemed to offer a promising place to serenely explore modernism from the dual perspectives of abstraction and nature. A renewed continuation of this research seems to be at work in the forms and the treatment of spaces and materials in Mathias Klotz’s architecture.” (Horacio Torrent). Preferring simple shapes and rough, unfinished materials, Klotz strives to find clear and concise solutions that balance the constraints of the site with the data of the program in order to give each project a specific character. Freed from the notion of anchoring, his projects develop a detached relation with the ground and foundations, implementing architecture composed of pilings, cantilevers, of tension between geometric abstraction and the brutalism of materials. Although Mathias Klotz revisits modernist solutions, he invents his own language, which he blends not only into his individual houses (Casa Reutter, 1999; Casa Techos, 2006) but also his public buildings (Altamira College, 2000; Zapallar Hotel, 2001; the Facultad Ciencias de la Salud and the Facultad Economia de Santiago du Chili, 2004). It is notably through the relation with the seashore and costal architecture that Klotz continues to develop his language and his dialogue with the site, as with the Casa La Roca (Punta del Este, Uruguay, 2006), la Casa 11 Mujeres (Zapallar, Chili, 2007), and the Casa Raul (Aculeo, Chili, 2009).
Born in Viña del Mar, Chili, Mathias Klotz lives and works in Santiago. Having graduated from the Catholic University of Chili in Santiago in 1961, he founded his own firm and started out building private houses in Chilean countryside. In the mid-1990s, he created several set designs, installations, commercial spaces, theaters and restaurants. A laureate of numerous prizes and awards (1st Prize at the 12th Biennale of Santiago in 2000), Mathias Klotz taught at the Central University of Santiago until 1998 and the University of Valparaiso from 1996 to 2000. He was the Director of the School of Architecture at the Diego Portales University from 2001 to 2003 and has since continued teaching around the globe.