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Triangular embeds PR House on a forested hillside in Chile

A series of concrete retaining walls help support an irregularly shaped holiday home in southern Chile that was designed by architecture firm Triangular.

The PR House is located in Cunco, a city in Chile’s Cautín Province. Designed for a family from Santiago, the vacation home sits on a wooded hillside that looks toward Colico Lake.

A house hidden in a dense forest
Above: Triangular nestled the residence within a Chilean forest. Top image: PR House has an irregular V-shape

The main challenges for Triangular, a Santiago-based firm, were building a home on a steep slope and capturing views of the lake.

The team ended up creating a two-storey, 240-square-metre house that is roughly V-shaped in plan. The home is oriented in a way that provides the most extensive views of the water.

A house with vast windows on top of a grassy hill
The building cantilevers over the grassy landscape towards the water

The home is set amongst a series of concrete retaining walls that enable the building to rest on the hillside. The walls intervene as little as possible in the terrain, and their graphite colour helps them merge with the site, the architects said.

Materials were chosen for their durability and ability to blend with the natural context.

A V-shaped roof on top of a house
The walls were placed to intervene as little as possible in the terrain

Facades are clad in high-performance wood that has been chemically modified through a process called acetylation.

“This kind of cladding, provided by the company Leaf with 50 years of warranty, is perfect for the rainy climate of Cunco,” the team said.

PR House captured at sunset
Large glass windows allow the living space to extend outdoors

The home is topped with a pre-painted, metal-clad roof with no gutters. The contours of the roof enable the shedding of rainwater – an ideal solution in areas where leaves might otherwise clog rainwater pipes.

The exterior also has several terraces with pine decking and metal railings.

Within the dwelling, there is a separation between public and private spaces.

“This clear zoning is due to the need for ample family gathering spaces and, simultaneously, places of tranquility, with total independence from each other,” the studio said.

A living room with views onto a forest in Chile
The kitchen, dining and living room are on the lower floor

The layout also enables adaptability of use and meets different thermal requirements during the year, the team added.

The lower level encompasses a kitchen, dining area and living room, while the upper floor holds a master suite and several additional bedrooms.

A dining room with a pine table
The floor is covered in porcelain tiles

Interior finishes include knot-free pine that was provided by a local wood manufacturer.

Porcelain tiles clad a metal-and-wood floor. A seven-centimetre, concrete floor slab – about half the thickness of a regular slab – minimises vibrations and accommodates heating ducts.

A wooden terrace surrounding PR House
Pine terraces run around both floors of the house

Large stretches of glass offer a strong connection with the landscape, as do outdoor terraces on both levels. On the lower level, a covered patio features a built-in grill.

Other Chilean houses include an amoeba-shaped, coastal dwelling by Gubbins Polidura Arquitectos and Más Arquitectos, and a wood-clad ski cabin by Iragüen Viñuela Arquitectos that was built atop the foundation of an uncompleted home.

The photography is by Nicolás Sanchez.

Project credits:

Architecture firm: Triangular
Lead architects: Tomás Swett Amenábar, Alejandro Armstrong Ramos

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