Rilan Peninsula, Chiloé, Lakes Region, Chile
Nicolás Saieh, Daniel Corvillón ©Completed
The Refugia Hotel is located on the Rilan Peninsula on the Island of Chiloé in the Lakes Region of southern Chile. From the site one has a distant view across an inland sea of the volcano-studded And...
Nearby on the surrounding the peninsula, one can enjoy the on-going activity of the tides, the picturesque beauty of the waterways, and the rich biodiversity of the wetlands of Pullao. One of the design challenges of the project was to reconcile the fact that the views from the hotel were predominantly southward, while capturing or dissipating the heat from the sun coming from the north (remember this is the Southern Hemisphere) in the predominantly cold and rainy weather of Chiloé. To do this, passive design strategies that optimize the use of energy were employed, including harnessing the sun’s heat trapped in concrete floors, promoting radiant heat cross ventilation to keep cool and to ventilate common spaces, and using eaves to prevent the entry of the sun during the summer. Other considerations included calculating the effect of driving rain water, carefully designing the orientation and configuration of openings and windows to take advantage of natural light and to maintain heat control, and employing skylights at crucial points. These strategies were combined with highly efficient mechanical systems in conjunction with an insulated and ventilated skin designed to ensure the lowest possible heat loss and cooling efficiency. The use of geometry and the application of wood in the design of the skin of the structure, as well as the interior partitions, were central to the overall architectural concept. Using parametric design technology to predict the optimal shape of each larch shingle and its positioning, complemented with artisanal labor to craft and install them, was an innovative architectural and building technique that proved highly successful – the complementary melding of technology and manual skills.