words Anna Bates
A hotel in Patagonia has been designed by Santiago-based architect German del Sol to accommodate travellers who want to explore the glaciers, mountains and lakes of this remote part of Chile, but who also want to spend their nights in luxury.
“In Patagonia we have a unique culture of wanderers,” says del Sol. “Sheep farm workers wander from one farm to the next – they never work on the same farm for long. I was inspired by the feeling they get when they see a place to stay after hours of walking in the cold. The hotel has long windows so guests can see a warm glow coming from the building at the end of a day wandering.”
The Remota retreat, near the town of Puerto Natales, is divided into three buildings – two bedroom blocks and a V-shaped central building that houses restaurants, a bar and a living room, as well as staff quarters.
The three buildings are linked by long passages modelled on the timber corridors of typical Patagonian farms, which are used for moving livestock between barns.
The roof of the central building is a vista of roof lights and grass. “The landscape continues over the building,” says del Sol. “I didn’t want to interrupt the continuity of the typical Patagonian grass plane.”
The building is clad with insulated timber panels covered with an asphalt membrane, with irregular glazed openings. Interior walls are concrete, and rooms in the central building are divided by glass showcases displaying local artefacts.
The Remota is del Sol’s second hotel – his first, the Explora, is set in the Atacama Desert in the north of Chile.