At the top of a windswept valley in Patagonia, Chile, sits the Aka Patagonia, a boutique hotel at one with the landscape.
The area is one of Chile’s most celebrated, famous with tourists for its incredible glaciers, mountains and wildlife. The importance of nature to the region is palpable, and in the design of Aka Patagonia, architect Pablo Larroulet has captured that perfectly.
“Aka Patagonia is a tribute to the landscape,” says Larroulet, “The project is born from this concept…an architecture that emerges from the earth and becomes part of nature, breaks that rise like mountains, volcanoes and glaciers on the horizon of Puerto Natales.”
Lenga wood envelopes the buildings, a timber native to Chile that will protect the rooms from the area’s extreme weather conditions while ageing beautifully, marrying the structures even further with their surrounds. Inside, the spaces are dominated by timber too, with expansive windows that make soaking in the surrounds impossible to avoid.
The seven modular, prefabricated buildings were built in a shipyard before being transported and installed on site. All but one of the buildings are private rooms, while the last is a common space for cooking, socialising and relaxing in.
Each building was strategically positioned in order to take advantage of passive design principles as well as the panoramic views that surround the hotel. Looking out, the sweeping horizon is interrupted only by the shadows of giant, faraway mountains, volcanoes and glaciers. “The spaces are designed so that one can experience the continuous flow of nature with the cycle of time, both inside and outside,” explains Larroulet.