Text description provided by the architects. Coyan Refuge is located in a tall and dense ancient endemic forest within Malalcahuello in a mountainous area of the Araucania region, in the southern lands of Chile.
The design process was driven by the logic of timber construction and the remote condition of the site. The refuge was built by local carpenters. It was also a great challenge to optimize the timing of construction in consideration of the limited building season in such rainy latitudes.
The refuge sits off the ground by 40 cms leaving a buffer for ventilation and humidity protection, but most importantly to conserve the biodiversity of the forest below.
The project’s architectural floorplan is organized into two areas. One is the living and common areas adjacent to the entrance. The other includes bedrooms and bathrooms. Between them, functioning as an intermediate space with direct communication to the exterior is a transparent hallway that leads to a deck overlooking the forest along the northern side of the hill, where an outdoor firepit is shielded from the wind by the terrain.
Regarding the roof, the main requirement was protecting the membrane from the usual fall of branches during winter, therefore the approach was to build a hardwood roof.
The mono-material finish of the refuge is consolidated in the integrity of this prismatic envelope that can withstand snow in winter.