Based on a slim V-shaped floorplan, La Dacha Mountain Retreat sits at the edge of a steep slope, amid a wood of local trees, hualle oaks. Located in Las Trancas, an emerging mountain village surrounding astounding views of the Nevados de Chillan, an active volcanic complex.
Designed as an energy efficient house, the project followed the concepts of a hybrid construction, with highly insulated SIP light boards in the perimeter, and a thermally massive core with flagstone slabs and brick partition walls to maintain a desirable temperature.
In the centre of the floorplan, an on-site masonry stove is installed. This feature, a project in itself, becomes an opportunity to assess a traditional heating system from northern countries and its effectiveness in a place struggling with energy demands and pollution. As Mark Twain ironically unravelled in his Europe and Elsewhere essay from 1923, it is rather surprising to realise that some efficient heating technics where not transferred to cold places in America, which is certainly also the case of Southern Chile.
catching lofty open plan on the top floor, which also portrays a mezzanine
accessed by a short ladder, designed to hold children’s games and activities. On
the opposite, bedrooms and bathrooms are efficiently designed with rigorous
The house is clad in the exterior with charred timber planks (shou sugi ban), an ancient technic to naturally protect wood from decay, and in the interior with lingüe planks, a brownish local wood that softens the winter glare. Both interior and exterior clad are installed 3 cms from the structure, in order to add two insulation air chambers, which also permits a gap for electricity and water pipes.
The characteristic sooth colour of the house relates to the volcanic setting
where lava rocks and vegetation are constantly competing.