Villa Acacia is a research base and a private weekend residence in the foothills of the Andes in Chile. Designed for a biologist, the building is inspired by the local flora which is dominated by thorny bushes. The building is raised above the bush line on tilted timber pillars - giant thorns - so that the surrounding mountain views and the river valley can be fully enjoyed.
The load bearing timber pillars continue from the foundations through the building in a sculptural manner. They also protect the building acting as shock absorbers during earthquakes which are frequent in the area. The entire structure is made out of local timber and only ecological insulation materials are used. Timber is treated with iron sulfate which will protect the surface and create a natural gray tone.
The organic structure is combined with a simple but effective floor plan which divides the building into two parts. The kitchen and living spaces are separated from the sleeping areas enabling maximum privacy in a relatively small building . The plan also takes advantage of the mainly warm climate as large sliding doors allow for connecting the internal and external spaces seamlessly. In the wintertime it is possible to save energy by closing off parts of the building and only heat the rooms which are used during visits.