Hot stuff: a Chilean house draws on its volcanic landscape

Chilean practice Ampueroyutronic’s latest residential project
Chilean practice Ampueroyutronic’s latest residential offering sits in the small town of Pucon in the country’s Araucania region.
(Image credit: Felipe Fontecilla)

Not many houses can boast sites as spectacular as those in the Chilean countryside. From dramatic rocky shores to dry deserts and leafy mountains, the South American country is not short of striking landscapes where architecture can choose to blend seamlessly, becoming one with the scenery, or make a mark, standing defiantly against the surrounding nature. Casa Hualle, the latest residential project by Ampueroyutronic, belongs somewhere in-between.

Located in the town of Pucon in the country’s Araucania region, the house is set within a landscape of open vistas, a lake and the rolling hills of the nearby Villarrica volcano. The single family residence is a sculptural volume created by geometric folds and cut outs (one of them highlighting the entrance), clearly marking its presence within its surrounds; but at the same time the architects – led by Javier Ampuero and Catalina Yutronic – chose to embrace its natural environment by carving large openings out of its monolithic form, orientating the eyes towards the views, taking in the nature and placing it centre stage. Additionally, its dark-stained softwood skin colour references the area’s architecture, which has been traditionally clad in black volcanic rock.

Inside, the space unfolds across 230 sq m and two storeys. Offsetting the black exterior, the interior is enveloped in pale, almost white, stained wood. Smooth, exposed concrete floors bring all the different rooms together. A central double-height volume sits at the heart of the house, hosting the kitchen, dining and living areas on the ground level. Flanking it are two guest bedrooms, while upstairs sits the master bedroom and bathroom. This is accessed by a carefully designed, generous staircase that doubles as a library and studio space, with a gallery that overlooks the main living spaces below.

In a gesture of respect towards the surrounding nature, the architects opted for the use of a number of eco-friendly systems, including passive energy saving features that encourage sustainability; while a swimming pool outside makes taking the plunge an exciting experience, set against the dramatic volcanic backdrop.

The black exteriors of Ampueroyutronic’s latest residential offering

The single family residence is a sculptural volume that has been created from geometric folds and cut outs.

(Image credit: Felipe Fontecilla)

large corner cut out highlights the entrance of this Chilean house

A large corner cut out highlights the house’s main entrance.

(Image credit: Felipe Fontecilla)

black exterior of Chilean house by Ampueroyutronic

The building’s dark skin references the area’s architecture, which has been traditionally clad in black volcanic rock.

(Image credit: Felipe Fontecilla)

floor plan of Chilean house by Ampueroyutronic

The dark, timber clad structure spans two levels internally 

(Image credit: Felipe Fontecilla)

Inside the Chilean house by Ampueroyutronic the wood is light in contract to the exterior

The ground floor is built around a central double height space that hosts the main living areas.

(Image credit: Felipe Fontecilla)

floorplan Chilean house by Ampueroyutronic

The interior unfolds across 230 sq m

(Image credit: Felipe Fontecilla)

Upper level with bedroom and bathroom of Chilean house by Ampueroyutronic

The upper level houses the master bedroom and bathroom.

(Image credit: Felipe Fontecilla)

staircase and gallery clad in blonde wood in Chilean house by Ampueroyutronic

This is accessed by a generous staircase and gallery that overlooks the living space below.

(Image credit: Felipe Fontecilla)

pale stained wood and concrete floors of Chilean house by Amperoyutronic

The interior is enveloped in pale, almost white, stained wood and features exposed concrete floors.

(Image credit: Felipe Fontecilla)

INFORMATION
For more information visit the Ampueroyutronic website (opens in new tab)

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture Editor at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018) and Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020).