Guillermo Acuña Arquitectos Asociados
Luis Miranda, Osvaldo Sotomayor, Cristobal Montalbetti, Blanca Valdés, Pablo Castillo
We wanted to experiment the ‘Vegetal’ as a working theme for the design, so the house had to fulfill the plastic attributes of that nature: light (photosynthesis) fabric (leaves) and wood (trees). The project was conceived as an object that doesn’t belong to the site, that can disappear at any moment, and that embodies a transitory condition of occupation of the forest.
Transparence plays with this impermanence as it reflects the projected shadows of the forest on its skin and the movements of it during the day. The textile layer takes on the role of tinting the light gold (the color of the oak leaves in the fall) during the day, and acting as a sacrificial cover in storms, protecting the tent from hooks and branches that could crack the second layer, which protects from the rain.
The structure took 20 days to build. It is mechanized on CNC and assembled with wood joints and screws.
The project is located in a private reserve of 600 hectares of Valdivian native forest, 800m above sea level. The site itself is 2 hectares- one of which is a smooth inclined plane and the other is a more pronounced slope that falls onto the Los Morongos River. The house is located on the limit between the two planes, looking out towards the river, with the forest reaching it from behind. The brief of the project was to build a small cabin to be used as a base for exploration for one of the members of the conservation project, Gloria Montalva. The remote location and difficult access to the site required a minimal transport, for which the construction elements considered these restrictions, as well as weather and construction period limitations.
The project is being used by the client, Gloria Montalva and her extended family (partner, partner’s children and her own adopted child). The cabin is used throughout the year as a weekend home, for forest excursions and river expeditions. The exterior layers cloaking the wooden structure have performed successfully to protect the interior from climatic events, as well as acting well thermically, with two ‘bosca’ stoves that warm the interior from each end – in the living room / kitchen area, and in the main bedroom.