Refugio Pangal, a modern cabin in Chile | EMa
This small cabin sits on an arid hillside in Casablanca, a grape growing region of central Chile about an hour’s drive northwest of Santiago. The site offers expansive views of the valleys and ravines below. The clients wanted an unpretentious refuge that would be efficient to build and to use.
Architects Etcheberrigaray+Matuschka Arquitectos (EMa) split the 60 m2 (646 ft2) cabin into two rectangular blocks, a tall volume for the living space and a smaller bedroom wing. A deck sits in the angle between the two blocks, stepping down to a pool. EMa put the cabin on stilts so as to minimize site disturbance and preserve the natural environment of cacti and Soapbark trees. A walkway provides access from the road above, leading to the entrance placed between the two blocks.
The living space consists of a double-height living and dining room with a small kitchenette at one end. A floating steel staircase leads up to a loft overlooking the living area. The loft has a glass door leading out to a terrace built on the roof of the bedroom wing. Large windows on the north and west sides of the living area allow the occupants to take in the views. The windows wrap around to the bedroom block, but there they are kept to just the north side in order to maintain privacy from the neighbor to the west. The windows also provide natural lighting and solar heating for the small cabin. The heating is supplemented by a small woodstove in the living space.
The structure of the cabin was built of steel to speed up construction. The exterior is clad in horizontal boards while the interior is lined with simple and cost-effective plywood panels. Only the bathroom gets an upgrade, with cedar boards used on the walls.
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