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Polycarbonate Cabin by Alejandro Soffia

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Alejandro Soffia has designed Polycarbonate Cabin. Located in Guanaqueros, Chile, this tiny cabin measures 24m² (258ft²).

This Polycarbonate Cabin is a small house for rent, just beside another bigger house for holydays in the coast of Guanaqueros village. The owner lives on renting this two houses for people that are left outside the main beach resorts of the country. It’s a small scale personal enterprise to offer a place to stay and enjoy the beach, so in the beginning there was a very tight budget to build, just U$365 / sqm. So in this case I tried again working with low tech design, working with just one carpenter, with the techniques he knew, assimilating all this conditions in the beginning of the design process.

But there was another problem. The site had already a built house, and even a pre-existing room beside of 9 sqm. So there was a tight area also to build this second holiday house, and that meant lack of sunlight. That’s why I used two design operations aiming to solve this problem. The first was mismatching the walls of both rooms to create a light patio within the pre-existing room. And the second operation was to build with polycarbonate, the large wall that separate both house were it develops an 90 cm wide corridor. With this two operations we could give the house a very tight relation with the site, and a lot of sunlight for this Cabin.

This polycarbonate cabin is named like that because it has a long polycarbonate wall on the setting sun side. This white wall can reflect light and be translucent. As was told before, this little cabin is located in a site that has already a house. Being so close to each other, this polycarbonate wall gives light both the inside of the cabin, and the walkway between the houses. The structural system is done with standard boards of raw pine wood. All the house was built just by one craftsmen within 2 months.

— Alejandro Soffia

Drawings and Models:

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Photographs by Juan Durán Sierralta
Visit site Alejandro Soffia

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