From luxury retreats to minimalist cabins, more and more people are looking for places where they can truly go off the grid. For one family of six, a remote area almost 200 miles from Santiago, Chile was chosen as the perfect place for them to disconnect. Working with architect Mauricio LLaumett of Nüform Studio, the family’s self-sufficient new home is completely “unplugged” thanks to solar energy, passive features and an independent water system connected to a nearby river.
Located on an isolated landscape of Huentelauquén, the timber and glass home sits on a rocky field covered in cacti that extends to the ocean. When the family approached Llaumett about their desire to create a vacation home on the challenging topography, they requested a design that would respect the natural landscape. The next request was that the home be 100 percent off-grid, generating its own energy in order to be a self-sufficient structure that the family could use for generations to come. “The most important thing is that the house is totally ‘unplugged,’” LLaumett explained.
The home’s electricity is generated by rooftop solar panels, while an innovative system collects water from a nearby river. The water is stored in two elevated containers that work with gravity to release water on demand. Additionally, a water waste system was built into the design so that excess water from the shower and the kitchen can be used to irrigate the interior garden.
The home was built on a slanted concrete foundation with a shape that mimics the natural slope of the landscape. Dark pine siding on the exterior blends the home into its surroundings. A wall of sliding glass doors opens up to a large, stepped wooden deck where the family enjoys panoramic views of the sea in the distance.
On the interior, the layout was strategically designed to connect the off-grid home to its surroundings. The front glazed facade opens up completely to create a seamless passage between the interior and the exterior. As for the home’s furnishings, many of them were made from locally sourced wood and handcrafted by local artisans. Even the family built some of the furniture, including the master bed frame and dining room table.
Photography by Aryeh Kornfeld K. via Nüform Studio