Get ready to see the off-grid home of our dreams. Sitting on a forested hilltop in Panama, the SaLo House was built using salvaged materials brought to the site by boat and on horseback. Architect Patrick Dillon built the rustic dwelling using lightweight materials and metal purlins salvaged from a bridge project and recycled pressure-treated pine or Douglas fir taken from demolished houses in the region, resulting in a calm and soothing retreat with a gentle environmental footprint.
The project aims to revive the site’s natural ecosystem and create a sustainable living space that uses passive sustainable strategies to blend into the landscape. It includes an open-air cistern that captures rainwater and can also function as a swimming pool.
Locally-sourced bamboo was used as structural framework, while galvanized metal purlins make up the roof arcs. Sliding walls and surfaces were made using glavanized lath covered in plaster and can be opened to facilitate natural ventilation. The electricity stored in batteries is generated by solar panels and powers lighting, fans and electronic equipment.
The architect spent almost 20 years to complete the project and has made changes over time to ensure it blends into its surroundings. Dillon and his family currently use the house over on weekends and plan to organize a workshop for architecture and science students in order to promote sustainable building practices.
Photos by Fernando Alda