- A mountain refuge in the Andes by IA Architects
Designing a mountain refuge is always a special challenge and designers need to take into account the particular fragility of the natural context that the architecture stands in. So the cabin architecture is a kind of test bench for the architect's skill at combining the client's needs with a particularly special landscape, at the same time keeping the building's footprint as small as possible.
The refuge in the Andres designed by Gonzalo Iturriaga Atala, founder of Santiago de Chile-based Gonzalo Iturriaga Architects is located in San Esteban, in the region of Valparaíso about 80 km north of the Chilean capital. One of the local tourist attractions are the high mountain sites, including the Cerro Mocoén - 2690 m above sea level - with splendid views across the valley and a marked biodiversity.
This compact cabin with an area of only 60 square metres, including the storage room for trekking equipment, stands on piles to keep down the footprint of the refuge. The suspended volume with geometric lines looks like large local stones and references the shape of the Andean peaks. Built from timber with a skin of steel panels to withstand the weather, the building connects with the majestic nature through the floor-to-ceiling picture windows that are also structurally functional and the incorporated terrace, protected from the wind, where the views are simply awe-inspiring.
The refuge designed by Gonzalo Iturriaga Architects delicately blends into the mountain environment and becomes not just the departure and arrival point for trekking in the Andes but also a location where you can find peace and engage with nature.
Architectural firm: Gonzalo Iturriaga Arquitectos
Lead architect: Gonzalo Iturriaga Atala
Location: Comuna de San Esteban, V región, Chile.
Surface area: 60 M2
Photographer: Federico Cairoli
Thanks to v2com