Tourist accommodation options in the exotic Eastern Islands of the Pacific Ocean are plentiful, ranging from luxury hotels to camping. But the niche sector of high-quality independent cabins is largely unexploited. So when Chilean architects AATA spotted the gap in the market, they didn't let the opportunity pass by. The resulting Cabanas Morerava are a series of four bespoke cabins, measuring nearly 80 sq m, equipped for up to six visitors each.
Designed to have as little impact as possible on the fragile island environment, the structures were conceived as prefabricated elements, produced on mainland South America and then shipped and assembled on site. Almost no materials from the island were used and the proportions of the cabins were cleverly calculated so that there was minimum wastage when using standard-sized market products.
But the sustainable nature of the structures doesn't stop here; thanks to the year-round pleasant island weather, little insulation is needed, but a gap between ceiling panels, topped with zinc, supplies the necessary, while allowing natural air circulation and ventilation. Rainwater collection systems are used in all cabins, with solar panels assisting with the heating and power supply.
Standing on pillars, the four structures look elegant and light, and blend in well to the surrounding landscape. At the same time, the visible timber structure showcases the detailed craftsmanship involved in the design and construction of their long and lean volumes. Strip windows on the sides accentuate the cabins' long shape.
'When we started to design the cabins we realized a very bespoke design would be required in order to correspond to the unique and delicate context of the island,' say the architects. The Cabanas Morerava are a real back-to-basics scheme, but one that doesn't compromise in style or environmental friendliness.