the last post from south america reminded me of one of the most beautiful structures i’ve ever seen. published in architectural record in the december 2006 issue, hotel remota sits in puerto natales, chile, a three hour drive north of punta arenas which lies virtually at the southern tip of south america. designed by german del sol architects out of santiago, chile, hotel remota serves those who take the time to make a trip to the pristine wilderness of the patagonia region. resting just outside of torres del paine national park, the hotel offers a number of day-long or multi-day treks through the scenic mountain range and national park. the hotel and it’s 72 rooms blend ever so gently into the landscape with is low-slung design emphasizing the magnificence of the nearby mountains. the hotel is exquisitely constructed of precast concrete; other materials include native slate flooring, local lenga wood, and as seen here in the sauna, delicate smatterings of color within the hotel spaces.
the hotel’s floor plan was pulled apart programatically into a “v” shape that begins to define outdoor spaces and claim them as the hotel’s own while emphasizing its connection with the landscape. in an interesting detail the architects replaced all the grass under the building’s footprint on the hotel’s roof as part of a living-roof insulation system. i find the delicate nature of the skyline reflections along the glass facade beautiful and only surpassed by the reversal of light at night in which the hotel becomes a soft-glowing beacon along the patagonia horizon at the base of the mountains. german del sol’s simple, elegant, minimalism in conjunction with their delicate site treatment and purely striking aesthetic really hammer this design home.