Text description provided by the architects. El Refugio is the second construction within a property located on the top of a hillside in the municipality of El Retiro to the east of the city of Medellín.
The house is reached through an esplanade surrounded by a native forest and a pine forest on a slope covered with vegetation on one side and with the main house on the other. From this point, a sequence of atmospheres and spaces begins to unravel, stimulating and intensifying the experience and the relationship with the landscape.
The construction was decided to be placed below the level of the existing house, taking advantage of the steep slope of the lot and to preserve the visual relationship between the access site, the mountains and the pine forest.
The access route to the new building is not evident, it is a crack in the horizon that allows one to descend and puts the visitor in a space shaped by vegetation. This staircase connects the main flat area of the property with a terrace, which functions as a meeting space, an observation point, an access route, and an articulation with the existing house. The terrace extends around El Refugio and is staggered in front of the landscape, in order to allow different forms of appropriation.
This configuration allows separating the house from the terrain, protecting it from humidity and giving it more privacy.
The floor plan of El Refugio is a rectangular prism, which shapes its interior space with stained glass windows that are used to open and integrate the interior space with the surrounding nature. The roof projects into the landscape, seeking to establish a fluid relationship between the private areas and outdoor areas. The interior space is made up of two living spaces and two service modules.
The first module is made up of a dressing room and a bathroom supporting the bedroom. the second module works as a piece of furniture that separates the two rooms and contains storage spaces and a small kitchenette with the possibility of integration into the social area.
The proposal of gardens around El Refugio seeks to potentiate the main elements of the project: integration with the landscape, the creation of small spaces that gradually integrate the space into the native forest.
The project arises in response to a need for expansion, a quiet and secluded space that reads and reinterprets the spirit of the place where it is located.