Amazing and scary all at once, the home known as Mountain Refuge Chalet C7 sits perched before the Tres Hermanos Mountains, part of the Andes, contemplating whether or not to dive into Inca Lake which taunts the house with its sleek, icy grace.
The house has been designed by del Rio-Nunez Architects to blend with the beauty and pure aesthetics of the breathtaking elements around it. Although it’s situated just below the Portillo Hotel mere miles from the Argentinean border in Chile, it appears as if it’s sitting out there all alone on a precipice. Literally stuck between a rock and a tarn place.
Oddly enough, it doesn’t look out of place. The design and materials chosen for Mountain Refuge are a seamless answer to the raw beauty and extreme temperatures found in this area of Chile.
Most of the exterior’s bottom half is made of stone. The resilient stone façade has controlled openings that help to absorb the variations in snow levels during the severe winter months. Also, because of the privacy that stone affords, the personal living spaces, like the bedrooms and bathrooms, are located on the lower level.
Emerging from the snow and stone are wide, reflective expanses of glass. The top floor of Mountain Refuge gives the residents and guests the most amazing views of both the snow-covered, looming mountains and the pristine, glossy lake.
Although the view out is amazing, the view in is nearly nonexistent. The immense glass structure is naturally reflective, giving outsiders nothing more than a mirrored look at the natural landscape all around them.
The overall design was kept extremely minimalist, leaving the awe factor to God’s own design, and no pitched roof juts upward to slice into the atmospheric views. It’s too bad the architects didn’t get their hands on that Portillo Hotel project, too, but at least Mountain Refuge Chalet C7 faces the opposite direction.