Perched on a slope overlooking the Nahuel Huapi Lake and majestic Andes Mountains, there is a striking contemporary home that makes the most out of the site, energy and views. Designed by architects Alric Galindez, the Vizu Jaus in Bariloche, Argentina, is full of wonderful indoor and outdoor spaces to celebrate Patagonian life. Its archetypical shape is a modern take on the surrounding elevations as well as homage to the first drawing of a house that most people drew as kids.
According to the architects, the house stands on a religious Bariloche site, where natives used to hold Smoke ceremonies by burning green leafs as an offering to the gods. When the ceremony ended at sunset, the Chaman would stand up on a rock and whisper the word “Vizu,” celebrating that “the universe was at peace.” The Vizu Jaus’s brief was simple: to make the best use of the site and to design different spaces to inhabit and enjoy life.
As well as visually, the house makes the most of its inclined location energy-wise, with bedrooms, parking and entrances protected from the cold and built underground. The upper, archetypal volume shelters the common living areas under its black-painted metal skin and keep the sun’s heat in. At both ends of this open-plan space a 2-inch glass wall frames the Andes Mountains, a constant reminder of how glorious the place is.