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Elton Léniz perches Casa BB on hillside overlooking Chilean lake

A black holiday home by Chilean architecture studio Elton Léniz is lifted off the ground by wooden stilts to help reduce the building’s impact on the earth.


Casa BB rises up from a slender, wooded site along Lake Calafquén in southern Chile. Just beyond the lake is Villarrica, one of the country’s most active volcanoes.

Elton Léniz house
Elton Léniz designed the house on stilts to overlook a Chilean lake

The building serves as a vacation house for a couple with two children. Santiago-based Elton Léniz aimed to capitalise on the scenery while also providing a sense of privacy.

“The narrow proportion of the site suggested a small, vertical design that would maximise unobstructed views of the impressive geography while freeing up as much space as possible between neighbouring buildings,” the team said.

Micro-perforated screen
A micro-perforated screen mitigates sun exposure

To reduce exposure to ground moisture and to minimise disturbance to the hillside, the team propped the house up on wooden supports.

“This compact house sits almost like a container on a wooden structure, with minimal intervention in the terrain and the slope,” the team said.

Casa BB in Chile
Cuts and openings connect occupants to the outdoors

Facades are clad in Quadroline aluminium panels from Hunter Douglas – a low-maintenance material with simple, vertical lines.

The panels’ black colour helps the home blend with the terrain.

Casa BB by Elton Léniz
The compact house resembles a container

On the north is a micro-perforated screen that mitigates sun exposure while preserving a visual connection with the landscape.

The home’s entrance is on the south side, where a wooden walkway leads to the front door. The bottom level holds the kitchen, living room, dining area and a sheltered patio, along with a bedroom.

The social spaces are designed to flow into each other. “Living room, dining room, kitchen and barbecue-terrace are continuously articulated to allow simultaneous activities,” the team said.

The main bedrooms are found on the upper level.

Wooden walkway
The house is entered via a wooden walkway

Rooms feature contemporary decor and ample use of earthy materials, including pine wood. Cuts and openings in the building enable occupants to feel connected to the outdoor setting.

“This allows one to silently confront geography and to discover new relations with the landscape from within the space,” the team said.

Aluminium facade
Facades are clad in black Quadroline aluminium panels

Led by Mirene Elton and Mauricio Léniz, the firm Elton Léniz has designed a number of residential projects, including Casa El Pangue – a hillside house in Chile that offers panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean.

The photography is by Cristobal Palma.

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