A Timber-Clad Sauna in Chile Angles For Lakeside Views

A Timber-Clad Sauna in Chile Angles For Lakeside Views

By Anna Squier
In the Los Lagos district of Chile, hovering over a dark granite rock overlooking the lake, is Sauna Ranco, a simple refuge nestled in the cypress trees.

Designed by Panorama, the structure takes a modified rectangular form; its three distinct volumes are connected by a continuous walkway. The sauna, covered terrace, and changing room are intentionally rotated away from each other to provide strategically framed views of the landscape. The design is sensitive to the landscape and the structure's surroundings, allowing the user to experience nature from various perspectives as they traverse the three volumes. 

Robust enough to withstand the harsh climate, the exterior is wrapped in an oak wood that will grow gray over time, similar to the original buildings of the area. In addition, the gray tones will help the structure blend in with the rocks and the silver of the lake as it becomes one with the natural surroundings. 

Warm interiors, clad in Alamo cottonwood, are simple and minimal, allowing the focus to fall on the experience of nature.

The three volumes bend and fold as they hover above the rock landscape. 

Supported on steel supports, the volumes appear to float above the rocks, allowing the natural systems to remain, while blending in between the sky and the ground. 

As the user passes between each volume, views modify with movement and angles. 

Encased with wood and glass, and surrounded by trees and rocks, the sauna is a meditative hideaway with private lakefront views. 

The simply clad, vertical surfaces allow for an interplay of light and shadow. 

Simple solid and void carvings create a purposefully oriented and constructed complex of volumes that pull the user out to nature and into repose. 


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