La Dacha Mountain Refuge: Creating a Cozy Ski Getaway with Pine

A modern ski retreat juts out from the hillside, clad inside and out with pine. La Dacha Mountain Refuge has two dramatically different looks depending on the season, blending into the surrounding vegetation for most of the year and standing out in sharp relief when the snow blankets the landscape.

Set among the Nevados de Chillan volcanic complex in Las Trancas, Chile, the refuge points oversized glass facades to the view, creating a sort of telescopic shape originating at the rear entrance. The vertical V-shaped dwelling is designed to follow the sun’s movements towards the north and west (being, of course, in the Southern Hemisphere.) A lot of attention was paid to thermal efficiency to make sure it stays warm and cozy in winter.

Private rooms are tucked down in the lower stories among the trees, while the public spaces like the living room and kitchen get to enjoy the best views at the top.

“In the middle floor is the entrance level that portrays a masonry stove or kachelofen, a wood stove that stores the required heat for the house in the thick brick walls, requiring a single load of wood a day with several benefits. This ancient technique common in central Europe becomes a prototype for Southern Chile where wood consumption and pollution are becoming crucial issues. The refuge is moduled in an array 122 x 244 cmts, the measures of the SIP board system. The panel where brought on a single day and assembled swiftly onsite during the warm months.”

For the exterior, DRR architects employed “yakisugi,” also known as “shou sugi ban,” the Japanese technique of charring boards to carbonize them, protecting against damage from insects and weather effects. Learn more about how “burning wood to make it fireproof” works.