At the basin of a lake and high up on wooden stilts, the V|M House, a house designed and built by WINTERI Arquitectura, provides a relaxing space specifically intended for relaxing escape and meditation.
The house is located in El Totoral in Chile, on the edges of Lake Llanquihue. It perches respectfully and light on a large slope lush with greenery and surrounded by agricultural fields that have a long history of generous crops behind them. The area isn’t actively producing crops anymore, but it still has a sense of farming charm about it; many of the original warehouses have been preserved where they’ve always stood.
The warehouses in the distance of the house do more than just contribute to the character of the area. They also hearken back to the history of the local land beyond its involvement in farming and crops. They also serve as a staunch reminder of the colonization of the area. In less melancholy terms, they contribute depth to V|M House’s view of the lake below it and the volcanoes by the horizon beyond.
In building the base structure of this house, designers wanted to work with the state and natural curvature of the land wherever possible, rather than building into or against it. This is how the raised and stilted form of its base was conceptualized. The house sits aloft on a metallic post and platform structure that provides stability and comfort to its inhabitants but also prevents it from interrupting the land with its foundation. In short, the raised end accounts for the land’s slope.
Regarding its interior functions, the house has two volumes. The lower floor is dedicated to daily life, shared spaces, and all the common activities of a regular family and their friends or guests. On the upper level, however, you’ll encounter calmer, more private spaces that are geared towards escaping busy routines, reaching a state of true relaxation, and facilitating meditation before sleep or starting one’s day.
In order to contribute to the home’s sense of relaxation and escape, designers wanted to maximize on the level of calming views and natural sunlight might be gathered into the house itself from any room or direction. This goal played a huge role in determining how the house is situated and where the windows sit. Good orientation was paramount in its design.
For the home’s exterior, designers provided a bit of weather-proofing by encasing it in corrugated zinc. This facade gives the home a strength and durability required for the weather in the area, but it also helps to camouflage the house a little more successfully into its surrounding environment. This metallic finish is paired with beautiful cypress wood, matching it to its environment even more effectively.
The interior scheme is heavy on wood as well. These are also light in tone because designers deliberately used locally sourced manio and cypress woods. These materials enhance the landscape, provide strength to the house, and contribute to the home’s decorative nature.
Outside, surrounding the end of the home that just out onto posts over the slop of the land, the house features a lovely porch that turns into a wrapping deck. The windows all along this section of the house light particularly the upper meditation volume in a breathtaking way while the deck itself provides nearly unparalleled views of the environment just outside the home’s doors.
Photos by Sofia Mezzano