Puerto Varas Waterfront
Warren and Mahoney was commissioned to design a site-wide masterplan for an integrated mixed-use development on the Puerto Varas waterfront in the Los Lagos region of Central Chile. Located on the same latitude as Picton, the landscape, light, and climate are very similar to that of Aotearoa New Zealand, enabling us to respond to a context we are very familiar with.
The design required a sensitive response to the existing site and surrounding context and a substantial portion of the native vegetation on the site needed to be retained. This formed the center of a masterplan solution that locates seven lots around a ‘ring road’ encircling the protected landscape.
The mixed-use complex distributes food and beverage facilities, retail, and a medical center throughout a four-level building. The floor plan extends out from a dramatic timber structure in the central atrium that links the upper levels of the building to a boardwalk running along the lake shore.
The building sits comfortably in the existing landscape and is of its place. Tangible connections to the site were made through use of a traditional barn typology that pays homage to the long family history on the site. Repeated barn forms along the length of the retail circuit are clad in South American larch timber shingles. There is a longstanding local tradition of recycling these shingles as they have a 60–70 year lifespan.
Designed to be local, timeless, and flexible to accommodate future change the project also employs a diverse range of innovative sustainable design strategies. Integrated energy and water efficiency systems combine with waste reduction strategies and the use of low impact materials to produce a highly sustainable design solution which will pursue the Chilean CES sustainable design accreditation.