On the eastern shore of Lake Villarrica is Pucón, a Chilean city that stands below an active volcano. Just beyond the city’s borders, local architecture firm Ampuero Yutronic has designed a double story stained-black wooden home: ‘Casa Hualle’.
The exterior of the residence is clad in timber slats that have been stained black to resemble the dark volcanic stone commonly used in the construction of homes in the Araucanía Region. “This dark grey tone is something you see in some traditional rural buildings of the area and in Pucón town. It is also the tone of the volcanic stone, which is very present everywhere you go” Javier Ampuero, the co-founder of Ampuero Yutronic, explained in a recent interview. A dynamic sequence of folding planes makes the home act almost as an optical illusion. From the southwest, it appears flat and stout, and from a northeastern perspective, its pitched roof causes it to resemble farmhouses of the area. In contrast to the dark exterior, the bright high-ceilinged interior is clad with whitewashed plywood panels. Designed to “surrender to the beauty of the natural environment,” the open nature of double-story space offers views to both the volcano and the lake through a system of cleverly placed windows. Intended to be reminiscent of paintings, each window frames a different aspect of the surrounding landscape.