In the rural Andes Mountains there is but a six-month window in which the weather can accommodate a construction process, a well-known concern to architects Nicolás del Río & Max Núñez (images by Felipe Camus). Their “Los Canteros” mountain lodge is a brilliant solution with major visual appeal for ski fanatics.
This structure borrows from relevant building types like chalets, lodges and other ski-resort essentials including prefab building techniques and a stark contrast of cold industrial exterior cladding and warm wooden interiors.
It also bridges a strange vertical gap in the form of a retaining wall and road behind it and steeper slope in front of it, managing both via breathtaking trussed bridges and taking advantage of all possible views as well.
More from the architects
“First, an interior plywood cladding for a warmer atmosphere in the inside, then a double thermal insulation within the steel structure, next a waterproof membrane, and finally an exterior cladding of black slate stone. This external finish resists well the harsh weather of extreme low temperatures, snow and rain. It also establishes a material link with the old stone refuges nearby. Unlike the nearby existing structures, whose construction is now too expensive, here the stone doesn’t take a structural role. This is accentuated by the vertical and horizontal position of the stone and by not letting the cladding touch the ground.”
About architect Max Nuñez
“Max Núñez Arquitectos is an architecture office located in Santiago de Chile formed in 2010. It has developed various public and private projects both in Chile and abroad. His work has been recognized with the Design Vanguard 2017 awards from Architectural Record, and the Design Award 2013, 2018 and 2020 from Wallpaper Magazine. He has won various public competitions, including the design for the Atacama Regional Museum (Copiapó) and the Visitor Centers for the Laguna San Rafael National Park and the Jeinimeni Reserve (Aysén). His projects have been published in various international media, including: A+U (Japan), GA (Japan), Mark (Holland), Wallpaper (England), Architectural Record (USA), PLOT (Argentina), 2G (Spain) , Baumeister (Germany), Interni (Italy).”
About Nicolás del Río’s firm DRAA
“DRAA is an architecture office founded by MSc Arch Nicolas del Rio in 2012 in Santiago de Chile. The practice bases on the thorough approach to the diverse typologies of the discipline, with a particular interest on the outcome of design and comprehensive detailing. Recurrent subjects of discussion within the team range from proportioning, tectonics and structure, and the responsible crossover with materials and energy efficiency.”