Chilean architect Lorena Troncoso-Valencia designed a serene wooden refuge deep in the Chilean mountains. The architect – who specializes in sustainable habitats – created the wooden PV Cabin as a refuge for the many mountain climbers that come to explore the rugged terrain of Las Trancas, Pinto. Built on wooden piles, the 260-square foot cabin is raised almost five feet above the natural terrain to reduce its environmental impact.
The design of the beautiful wooden cabin is geared towards the many active travelers that visit the region, known for its variety of extreme sports. Hikers, skiers, and mountain climbers often spend days or weeks exploring the adjacent mountain range.
The 260-square foot structure is located on a small lot accessed by a winding road that juts through a deep forestscape. The rugged terrain limited the structure’s potential surface area, so the architect took the design vertical. The interior space was essentially doubled by expanding the space to double height, creating a wooden homage to the natural rock walls found out in the surrounding area.
A glazed front wall floods the interior with optimal natural light and provides stunning views of the surroundings. On the inside, the living area, kitchen, bathroom and a small workspace are located on the first floor, with a “floating” sleeping loft on the second floor, reachable by ladder. Designed to be used as a temporary refuge by itinerant visitors exploring the area, the space is minimal but comfortable.
Although the cabin design is a beautiful structure, the materials used in the cabin were also chosen for their resilience. A strong wooden shell that would withstand the harsh elements was essential, as was the asymmetrical roof, which allows for snow drainage.
Photography by Cristóbal Caro / Lorena Troncoso-Valencia