Lonely Planet Writer

Check out this wooden refuge deep in the Chilean mountains

A serene wooden refuge deep in the Chilean mountains lets climbers escape the daily grind. The minimalist cabin is raised almost five feet above the natural terrain to reduce its environmental impact and also features a large window to provide the interior with a lot of natural light.

The climbers’ refuge in the mountains. Image by Lorena Troncoso-Valencia / mediadrumworld.com

Chilean architect Lorena Troncoso-Valencia designed a serene wooden refuge deep in the Chilean mountains. The architect – who specializes in sustainable habitats – created the wooden PV Cabin as a refuge for the many mountain climbers that come to explore the rugged terrain of Las Trancas, Pinto.

The interior. Image by Lorena Troncoso-Valencia / mediadrumworld.com

“Formerly the Neanderthal man lived in caves to take refuge,” she said. “The choice of these stone dwellings, responded to the best orientation to protect from the winds, should have with air intake, light and enough space to store their food. Times have changed, but certain basic human needs have remained. The land is accessed by a winding and wooded road. At the bottom of the lot, in a small clearing the refuge is located. Behind it, a wall of considerable height interrupts the surrounding green.

The cabin design. Image by Lorena Troncoso-Valencia / mediadrumworld.com

“This open space in the middle of the forest will ensure sun, ventilation and natural lighting. The refuge is raised with wooden piles one-and-a-half meters above the natural terrain to avoid contact with the snow in the winter season.”
The rugged terrain limited the structure’s potential surface area, so the architect took the design vertical. The interior space was essentially doubled by expanding the space to double height, creating a wooden homage to the natural rock walls found out in the surrounding area. Inside there is a spacious kitchen and living area with wood-panelled walls while a small ladder leads up to a double bed perched over the rest of the room.

A cosy refuge for climbers. Image by Lorena Troncoso-Valencia / mediadrumworld.com

Although the cabin design is a beautiful structure, the materials used in the cabin were also chosen for their resilience. A strong wooden shell that would withstand the harsh elements was essential, as was the asymmetrical roof, which allows for snow drainage.

By Mark McConville/mediadrumworld.com