Designed by Chilean architecture firm Ortuzar Gebauer Arquitectos, the Coo Lodge is a seaside getaway that is tied into the surrounding landscape history with its weathered zinc cladding. The reclaimed metal plates, sourced from old construction sites, have been oxidized to a reddish color similar to the color of the ground. Located on the beach with spectacular views of the sea and distant volcanoes, the building was constructed to feel like an extension of the landscape.

side view of red zinc-clad building by the sea

On the left, walkway to the entrance. On the right, living space with wood benches and light wood walls.

The zinc-clad Coo Lodge is located in Queilen, a tiny town in the southern Chilean archipelago of Chiloé known for its beaches and beautiful views. The architects looked to the landscape for much of the inspiration for the house design and even delved into the early history of the original inhabitants, nomadic navigators known as ‘Chonos or Payos’ who made their living from the sea. “To discover their vestiges was to discover their vernacular condition, it was to discover a culture,” the architects wrote. “The above opened our senses to work on the pre-existing.”

On the left, white bed near large window overlooking the sea. On the right, light wood bathroom.

The architects also divided the site into three main parts: a green field near the main road, a grass-covered rocky “intermediate level” and the white sand beach that was formerly covered by a large growth of weeds before the designers cleared out the space. Because the 1,722-square-foot Coo Lodge was placed on the “intermediate level,” the architects created a series of block-y volumes — six of which house bedrooms and one larger structure for the communal living areas — to complement the large sculptural rocks. The buildings are elevated and fan out across the landscape, and they are connected by outdoor walkways. Large windows punctuate the sea-facing facades.

Related: Chile’s rustic Casa Pollo is made from recycled zinc plates and reclaimed wood

On the left, cushioned benches near window overlooking the sea. On the right, wood benches and wood kitchen cabinets.

“The enclosures being separated are intimate, typical of the visitors who keep them in their status as a nomad in the place,” the architects continued. “A great volume is the space of encounter, public space, exposed, that around the fire and the kitchen, invites to live according to the logic of the rural ensemble in Chilo.”

+ Ortuzar Gebauer Arquitectos

Images by Federico Cairoli

view from the walkway

coo lodge seen from the water