- Los Rios, Chile
- SAA Arquitectura + Territorio
- Esteban Arteaga
Escapism comes in many forms these days, and escaping to a beautiful environment is perhaps one of the most timeless. As we continue to trudge through the winter, intriguing places are a welcome antidote to the mundane sameness. Impluvium Cabin, designed by SAA Arquitectura + Territorio, provides such an escape. Nestled in a remote area of Chile, the dwelling checks all the boxes for the perfect getaway (or stay away): a gorgeous scenery, comfortable accommodations, and picture-perfect design.
The density of the forest was a huge driver of the design: the canopy heights, reaching up to 25 metres, blocked a good deal of natural light from reaching the cabin. The designers responded to this site condition with a design that incorporates windows on nearly every surface of the facade, including the sides facing the expansive courtyard. The courtyard acts as a vessel to capture the sunlight; from the interior, it serves as a void to contemplate nature from within. As a result, the cabin is flooded with natural light and views of the stunning scenery from every angle.
Impluvium Cabin’s exterior is not intended to stand out. The humble facade is covered in natural wood, and the entire structure floats above the ground. The feeling is a bit like a backyard treehouse: alluring, but not entirely showstopping. SAA Arquitectura knows that it’s not the particular look of the exterior that matters in this situation; so much of the view of the home is obstructed by the trees. For Impluvium Cabin, it’s all about the feel. Ascending to the dwelling feels at once mysterious, exciting, and comforting.
The interior, much like the exterior facade, is quite humble. The same wood covers the floors, walls, and ceiling. Left in its natural state, the wood exudes an organic warmth and soft minimalism; it is pleasing to see so many natural materials at home in the forest. Simple furnishings keep the attention to the views outside. Wood beams, extending from the ceiling to the floor, align perfectly with the window mullions. The beams draw even further attention to the exterior, again highlighting the view of the trees.
Due to the remote location of the site, the construction process was completed using all local carpenters and without the aid of electricity. This unconventional approach to construction makes the unique cabin all the more intriguing. Impluvium Cabin is not just located in a natural habitat, it shows a level of respect to this habitat. The dwelling was conceived, designed, and constructed around nature. In our increasingly urban world, this concept is both foreign and extremely alluring.