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Rooms with a view Hotel AWA, Puerto Varas/CL

Opened in 2016, the AWA boutique hotel lies in the eastern part of the small city of Puerto Varas, the tourist, cultural and social hot-spot of the lake region in Chile’s Zona Sur. Here – a good 1000 km from the capital Santiago– is where the endless expanses of Patagonia begin on the Chilean side of the continent and stretch far south to the Tierra del Fuego.

Project: Hotel AWA
Location: Los Riscos, Puerto Varas/CL
Client: The Fuentes Hernández family
Architects: Arquigestion, Mauricio Fuentes Penrroz/CL
Site manager: Jürgen Tölle
Construction period: 2013–2016
Total area: 2358 m2
Main contractor: Piedra Linda Limitada
Façade design: Anodite Raum Design S.A.
Project manager: Daniel Anselmi
General manager: Jose Luis Priego
Schüco systems: AWS/ADS 65, AWS 65 WF, AOC 60, FW 50+

Hidden behind the floor-to-ceiling glass façade on the south side are the staircases and corridors of the hotel.

Situated directly on the picturesque Llanquihue Lake, the hotel without a doubt only has one aim with its architecture: the fantastic views of the Osorno Volcano, which is usually covered in snow and defines the panoramic view over the lake. As the climate in this region is moderately cold and rainy, it was important to optimise the utilisation of passive solar energy by means of the glazing. Of course, the view from every angle in the hotel also had to be as spectacular as possible. You first enter the building via a two-storey, glazed cube, and then reach the reception and public areas. Local timber as the door infill and floor covering on the staircases and natural stone from the surrounding area make up the surfaces here.

The glass surfaces reach from the floor to the ceiling and are divided by just a few profiles, so that the breathtaking view of the lake and landscape define the space.

The public areas, restaurant and spa with an outward-facing pool all point towards the sun and the lake to the north. The hotel rooms are located on the upper floors. Thanks to the unusual arrangement of the rooms in the floor plan – they have been rotated by 90 degrees along the longitudinal axis of the long´ building – each of the square, north-facing rooms has two panoramic floor-to-ceiling glazing installations in different directions. The aluminium window system used is characterised by narrow profile face widths, making the glass areas as large as possible. As the outer frame completely covers the frame of the opening vent, the framing appears even narrower. The AWA Hotel plays with the contrasts between modern, contemporary materials such as glass and exposed concrete, while not losing sight of the original timber construction material and local traditions. Of course, the star of the show is definitely the picturesque view of the lake and the volcano.

Words: Eva Schönbrunner
Photos: Ariel Nuñez

Thanks to deliberately selected sightlines, the active Osorno Volcano can be seen from virtually anywhere in the hotel.
All of the rooms point northwards towards the sun, letting in plenty of light. The pool in the spa opens out towards the water as a glazed transom.