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Black timber clad home with volcano behind
Distant view of black timber clad home with front entry portal
Aerial view of Casa Hualle surrounded by trees with volcano beyond

Casa Hualle in Pucon, Chile is a timber clad home designed to capture views of the nearby Villarrica volcano and surrounding hillside. This passive solar timber home, designed by architects Ampuero Yutronic, stands boldly in contrast against the gently rolling countryside yet the colour and the angular form responds to the dramatic volcano terrain in the distance.

From the exterior the home’s windows seem randomly sized and placed. However from the inside it becomes clear that the windows are specifically placed to frame views of the countryside and volcano, or to capture sunlight.

Angled view of entry portal to Casa Hualle
Close up view of concrete steps leading to front door of Casa Hualle

The home is orientated north to wash the home with natural light and to maximise solar gain on the concrete slab flooring. Shading for the expanse of north facing windows is cleverly created by recessing the ground level wall which provides an overhang to protect the windows from the harsh summer sun.

Timber slats have been used to clad the exterior and are stained to match the dark volcanic stone of the region and the windows are highlighted by the use of warm timber window frames. In contrast, the interiors are lined in a light washed plywood and seem to float as a seperate element to the faceted white ceilings. Tying the exterior materials palette to the interior is the addition of volcanic aggregate to the concrete flooring used throughout.

Related project: Check out another passive house, Owl Woods by Talina Edwards Architecture

Plywood-lined walls and glass window with a view to the volcano
Plywood walls and timber kitchen
Plywood walls in the upstairs hallway

Sustainability specs:
– Passive solar timber home
– Exterior clad in timber slats
– Plywood interior wall lining
– Designed using passive design principles with the house orientated to the north to capture sunlight
– Highly insulated
– Window placement to catch sunlight and to maximise solar gain on concrete slab flooring
– Shading to the north facing windows is provided by a recessed ground level wall
– Thermal mass of concrete flooring to regulate internal temperature
– Wood burning stove used for heating, which has a filtration system which minimises smoke released it into the surrounding environment
– Durable and low maintenance materials

North facing view of black timber clad facade
Rear view with single window in timber clad facade
Master bedroom with timber clad walls inside Casa Hualle
View across master bed looking through window with volcano beyond
Plywood lined bathroom with concrete flooring
From the architect:

Sitting on a gently sloping site in the rural foothills of the Villarrica volcano and the lake below, the house embraces this natural environment and the outstanding views afforded by its privileged setting. The two-storey building form and orientation is a response to this sloping terrain of the land and the microclimate of the area.

The house sits on the central brow of the land, taking advantage of the aspect afforded on all sides by this elevated position. Approaching by road the house appears as a prominent simple black form on the hillside, reminiscent of large agricultural pitched-roof sheds found of the area.

Images courtesy of Ampuero Yutronic. Photography by Felipe Fontecilla

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