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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).

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.

“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.”