Siete Coigües House

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This Chilean house is located in a densely forested section of the Patagonian peninsula in South America. The concrete structure is overlaid with a variety of different locally sourced timbers, which combine for a particularly beautiful pathwork effect on the exterior and, within the house, create a warm and light atmosphere.

As the building sits on a sloping site, the side that faces up the hill is relatively closed off, with the entrance walkway crawling down to meet the porch. However, the opposite side looks out over the forest and takes advantage of panoramic views with wide windows.

This house incorporates the use of Thermally Modified Wood (TMW) in search of innovations to avoid both moisture and ageing effects on timber elements, but also to promote its advantages to the local housing industry in Patagonia, Southern Chile.

The exterior of the house is an arresting patchwork of different timbers and timber products, with a rainscreen that stands a short distance away from the timber walls. Parts of the screen are made from a thermally-modified wood (TMW).

Amongst the properties of TMW are a longer durability, dimensional stability, and darker colours, which allows for the designer to emulate native species in a number of the timber applications on both the façade and throughout the interior of the building. For this case, TMW is used on a percentage of the rainscreen cladding (combined with micro corrugated light steel panels), as well as on most of the internal flooring.

The interior sees wood used for all the floors and many walls, particularly those that face the exterior. In addition, actual native species were used for the staircase (Laurel) and for all exit doors (Elm). All the wood sourcing applied to this project has attained at the least a local forest certification.

Timbers used in this case study:


Retaining Walls: 

Timber frame (Pine)



Thermally modified wood (Pine)


Elm (native)

Joinery Cabinetry: 

Oregon Pine (built-in furniture)

Interior Stairs: 

Laurel (native)

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