Architects: Cooprogetti Arquitectos
Location: Villa O’Higgins, XI Región de Aysén, Chile
Design Team: Fabio Stingo, Gustavo Langerfeldt
Area: 540 sqm
Photographs: Fabio Stingo & Alejandro Macaya
From the architect. Position is defined from history and experience. The way in which settlement and Patagonicranches were placed in those far away lands. Isolated volumes arranged among each other in order to build a shelter. The simple volumes were intended to provide protection from the wind, searching the distant views that announced the the visitor’s arrival or in certain ocassions a warning of danger such as, fires, were also controlled from that privileged sight. A long life work and effort could not be destroyed by a ray or flame. Our lodge is concieved as simple volumes, using the place’s scale were traditional patagonicarchiterture and a more contemporary one, merge.Using the same patterns, the position of the lodge is oriented in order to provide protection from strong winds, rain and snow. The lodge opens itself through the landscape, considering the forest distant view and the snowy mountains as a backcurtain. The idea of locating separate volumes, bedrooms, club house…. was intended to place the visitor in the “Deep Patagonia”, experiencing the posibility of having the four seasons in one day, which is very characterristic in the zone.
The choice of color was an essential one. A dark color, almost black on walls and surfaces was used to avoid emphasizing the presence of the lodge in the small urban section of Villa O`Higgins.
The total surface of the lodge is about 540 m2., design and materials were selected based on a friendly atmosphere. This implied a low visual impact, efficient use of energy, avoiding the use of firewood for bedroom heating and fuel transfer such as gas or petrol from Coyhaique. The decission was to use low electric heaters. A thermic construction based on pre-manufactured materials which minimize the execution timing and avoid destroying the local forest.
The remote location and the difficulty in reaching the zone were considered as important elements , (540 kms from Coyhaique). As well as the weather conditions which determine the isolation standards. The short period of time for the construction and the start-up stage, as welll as the limited amount of workers and the possibility lo enlarge the construction in the future according to the requests were also an important issue to consider.
Programatic Lay Out:
The lay out is organised by using three buildings:
Two with six bedrooms each one , including a private bathroom for each one. The bedrooms measure 24 squre meters. There is a terrace connecting the bedrooms and a common garden made by volumes.
The main building or club house was designed as a big shed with a Patagonic hall towards the street and two “chifloneras” entrances. This building includes the reception, a family room, dinning room and a small winter garden, completely glassed and north oriented which provides natural heating through the interior. It also contains a small kitchen, an emporium with fine suppplies for the guests which are highly requested in these faraway lands. Bathrooms and the administration office are found here.
On the second floor shown towards the main area, there is a room offering maps, videos and books about the Patagonia. The room also provides a desk with a notebook. Next to the club house, the service area is located, including a laundry zone for the guests and a place for the administrative workers. There are two hot tubs with hydromassage , cycling water and filter (ionization) placed on the farthest area of the lodge.