Our relationship with nature has undergone some massive shifts in recent decades and this is increasingly reflected in the ways we build our homes. Building sites in areas with a high degree of natural beauty are also in high demand. Ironically, the very process of building a structure on a naturally beautiful site, will inevitably lead to some damage. This is an area of great interest to many in the architectural community, so it's with great interest that we will explore the design of a very different home today. It is the brainchild of architects IR Arquitectura and the project, Comuna Yerbas del Paraiso – Misiones, was built to function as a hostel, meditation centre and training facility. It was also built with an awareness of the long-term implications of future works and a special relationship to the forest surroundings. Let's go on a photo tour for all the details…
The building is located in an area to be reforested in the future. The architects chose a triangular design that would allow maximum flexibility in terms of extensions to the dwelling in the future. It is difficult to accurately predict the changes in the surrounding landscape in the long term. But there is little need to project that far in the future because of the flexible possibilities of the design. When further wings are added, the building without unduly impacting the site. It will simply be arranged to snake between the new tree growth and avoid damage.
The building was also designed with a very open and nature-friendly ambience. The triangular design serves to sort of embrace the surrounding nature and make it a very integral part of the interior decor. The wooden construction materials, simple rudimentary layout and green roof further emphasize the earthy look and feel of the home. It's perfect for nature loving enthusiasts and those looking for a meditation retreat with a communal atmosphere.
The project was designed with technologies traditionally used in the area. This is evident in elements such as the raised wooden platform and the use of timber throughout the home. Using Paraguayan techniques also meant that the basic construction techniques were familiar to locals. Indeed, the project was also developed within experiential workshops that created opportunities for training and development. Surely this included some discussions on the green living roof we see here. Future modifications are relatively easy to plan because the column axis in each module is always 3m in length.
The triangular design gives the main living and dining area here a very open ambience. There are few opposing elements. Instead, there is a free flow of air, light and foot traffic from multiple angles. At the same time, the exposed wooden beams and triangular design gives the space a certain central axis. Finally, we love the large, barn-style doors. There are few windows and the building has a very rustic, calming feel.
It's very unusual to see a bedroom with a triangular design. But here it works because the building also functions as a hostel. The walls have multiple angles that create a sort of boundary around the individual sleeping areas. Finally, note how the exposed wooden beams on the walls have been used as a prop for decorations and personal artefacts. This is a common element seen in many simple old rural homes. It certainly suits the meditative and stripped back approach beloved by those attracted to this type of dwelling and community style living.
We will finish our tour with a view of the stunning exposed wooden ceiling beams in the building. Exposing such elements gives buildings like this a sense of authenticity and history. It also allows the occupants a clear view of the building structure and an example of how future works should be planned. Finally, note the almost complete lack of windows and decorations in this building. The beautiful of the natural wooden feature really does all the decorative work. This is certainly a fitting approach for the design of this forest retreat.
If you're a fan of wooden rustic homes, you should check out The picture book home you've always wanted.