At an altitude of 2,900m in the Chilean Andes, Chalet C7 sits on the edge of the Inca Lagoon and enjoys amazing views over the untouched landscape. Special consideration was taken not to spoil the view over the lake and surrounding mountains by partially insetting Chalet C7 within a slope. The only visible sign of a dwelling existing at all from the surface is the bunker-like entrance shaft which guides the inhabitants down into the hillside. This ‘porch’ has a rust red metal sheet exterior which blends with the native rocks quite nicely.
Due to it’s flat roof, Chalet C7 required some pretty serious structural measures within its design. This is because snowfall in the region can reach 6m a year and this adds up to an immense load bearing down on the chalet. The structural supports took the form of an array of steel beams which span the living room ceiling, drawing a humorous parallel with exposed timber beams in historic buildings.
Chalet C7 was designed by Nicolás del Río and Max Núñez, two Chilean architects who regularly collaborate on projects. These include Los Molles House, Los Canteros Mountain Retreat and La Baronia House, all 3 of which are characterised by some awesome height-spanning entrance gangways.
The duo also designed another similar building a year previously called Chalet C6. It neighbours Chalet C7 (pictured here) in Portillo and looks out over the same lake, the Inca Lagoon and the ‘Tres Hermanos’ peaks of the Chilean Andes. The chalets occasionally enjoy view of the Aurora Australis: the south hemisphere’s equivalent of the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis), as well as some pretty amazing sunsets and night skies.
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