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Lakefront House

Alejandro Aravena

When we first met the client he asked us to build a house “in shadow colour”. It sounded like an interesting challenge so we agreed to design this private house for a wealthy customer, a choice that doesn’t often come our way.
We were to produce plans for a summer and winter holiday home at an isolated spot in the deep south of Chile. The client wanted not so much a finished design as our thoughts on all possible variants so that we could arrive at an equation together with them. The project would then be the solution to that equation.
A volcanic area, 4000 mm of rainfall a year, powerful solar radiation, strong winds from north and east, a view onto the lake and the forest, difficulties to solve in bringing materials to this remote spot, all a priori architectural romanticism ruled out, ancient or modern: these were the ingredients of an “unknown dish” in the concocting,...

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