top of page



Casa Humo

Ivan Bravo Architects

Futrono, Los Rios, Chile

June 2023


Iván Alejandro Bravo Álvarez (Architect), Martín Ignacio Rojas Ortiz (Architect)


Juan Agustín Oyarzún Vial (Design collaborator), Pedro Bartolomé Bachelet (Structural engineer)


Julio Reymond Nieto


Marcos Zegers


Starting from a cube with two faces split in half, the whole project revolves around the articulation of opposing pairs. The two larger facades open to distant views of the lake and the site; the two smaller ones are almost entirely blind, sheltering the entrance on the lower corner. Public areas share one half on its full height; while intimate ones are distributed on three levels of the other half, just large enough to accommodate the owners and their guests.

A long table made from a fallen larch uses almost all the groundfloor space, serving as dining table and kitchen unit. The two master bedrooms are on the first floor, sharing a corridor and facing each other, giving room to that delicate point where they cohabit separately. On the second floor a study room opens to the triple height. The roof shrinks to the very minimum one side of this floor, then opening to 5m on the other side.

Both interior and exterior are clad in raw timber slats stained one by one. The roughness and its unique shades of gray gives the house a timeless appearance, blending it with the always foggy mornings. A winding path connects two small ponds, passing through the house entrance and terrace, and continuing across the stream to a fire pit. Continuing through the trees will lead to a small bay in between the dense vegetation, where you get a first glimpse of the lake.


Humo house was commissioned 10 years ago and only two years ago it was decided to start the project. Despite all this time, both the client's requirements and the site have remained exactly the same. The clients are a couple who have never lived together, each of them lives in their own flat, just a few metres away on the same street in the capital. Therefore, this holiday home is the first time they will have their beds under the same roof.
The house is in Futrono, a locality in the south of Chile whose name in ethnic language means: place of smoke, because of its constant foggy mornings. Located in a natural clearing on a long piece of land that ends in a lake, it is flanked by a row of trees on one side and a small stream on the other. The height of the trees and the dense low bushes disorientates anyone trying to look for any element of the distant context. Only the direction in which the river flows make it possible to locate the lake, behind a dense layer of vegetation.
The house is placed in the third closest to the shore, on a gentle slope which raises the house sufficiently above the natural level of the land to avoid possible floodings of the lake. The square plan is aligned to the cardinal axes, defining each façade to have a single orientation, and thus, a unique character and function to the project.


The house had to respond to two very different realities: to be a common meeting place for its two owners where they could develop their intimacy, and to be a place where they could celebrate gatherings with friends and guests. For the former, a pleasant surprise was that, although this house was designed as a holiday home, it soon became the habitual residence of its owners. They decided to leave the capital of Chile, where they had lived all their lives, to move to this small town a couple of hours from the nearest city. For this they had to adapt their whole way of life, their work and their close circle to this new reality disconnected from the city.
For the latter, the house finally became a meeting place, but not only for the friends and family of the owners, but also for people from the area who have come here interested in the architecture of the house, unlike anything else that can be found in the surrounding area. However, this uniqueness is taken with familiarity, because although the geometry of the project is far from their house image, the materials and colours chosen make it reminiscent of traditional architecture from the south of Chile.

bottom of page