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Collection by Kelly Dawson

Get a Little R&R by Going Off the Grid

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How solar power and a self-sufficient water system keeps a family relaxed in Chile.

Nearly 200 miles from Santiago, Chile, in an area known as Huentelauquén, a family found peace of mind in a challenging landscape. Full of soft hills, cacti, and rocky ground leading to the ocean ground, a designer and journalist wanted to use this setting as a place where they could vacation with their four children. The owners asked architect Mauricio LLaumett of nüform studio to create a property that respected the site’s natural surroundings as much as it provided a comfortable hideaway. “The most important thing is that the house is totally ‘unplugged,’” LLaumett says. “The electricity is provided by solar panels and the water comes from a nearby river. It is stored in two elevated containers, delivering the flow to the services by gravity.” The scenery may be a dominant force, but from the perspective of the residents, it’s an enchanting backdrop.

Pine was used for the exterior siding and the lower perimeter base is lined in reinforced concrete.
LLaumett refers to the extended patio as its own entity—a calm place to sunbathe or stare out to the ocean at any time...
Aluminum lines the glass windows that divide the living spaces from the airy patio.
“The transparency and continuity of the spaces allows the landscape, the coast, and the sea to be present at all...
“The program of enclosures was developed around a courtyard that is protected from the constant wind.
Two-by-four inch pine beams were used on the ceiling throughout the home.
“The water waste from the shower and the kitchen irrigate the interior garden,” LLaumett says.
Eames DSW Molded Fiberglass chairs surround the dining table made of local wood and constructed by the owners.
“The interest of this work lies in its simplicity,” LLaumett says.
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