An Exposed Retreat: La Loica and La Tagua, Weekend Cabins in Matanzas
Architecture: Croxatto & Opazo Arquitectos
Structural engineering: Luis Della Valle
location: Lagunilla Street, Matanzas, Navidad (CL)
The two weekend cabins built by Felipe Croxatto and Nicolas Opazo measure only 20 and 25 m2 respectively. They were erected on a practically impossible building site: right on the steep bluffs of Matanza, a surfing paradise on the Pacific. The clients were two chummy couples who use the cabins themselves as well as renting them to holidaymakers.
The airy location 80 m above sea level inspired the names of the two cabins: La Loica and La Tagua, which are two species of bird native to the region. The zoological names are somewhat more prosaic: the long-tailed meadowlark (Leistes loyca) and the red-gartered coot (Fulica armillata).
The heart of each cabin is formed by an open, two-storey living space whose panoramic windows open northwards − towards the sea and the midday sun − onto a wooden terrace. The kitchenette and bathroom are also located on the lower level of each house. The upper level, accessible by ladder, is home to a raised sleeping area and a small balcony overlooking the ocean.
The flotsam aesthetic of the buildings’ shells fit to their lightweight wooden construction. As cladding for the façades and roofs, the architects used decommissioned, weathered railway ties of oak. These were impregnated with mineral oil to make them weatherproof against the rough sea climate. The interior walls and the bases are covered with pinewood boards; the bases have been coated with water-repellent black paint. The dark wooden cladding conceals a further special characteristic necessitated by the location: two organic septic tanks. It was not possible to connect the cabins to the local water network; therefore, the tanks purify the waste water from the cabins so that it can eventually seep into the ground.
We feature this project in DETAIL 7/8.2021.