An Off-Grid A-Frame in the Heart of Chile's Conguillío National Park

A clever two-structure vacation retreat set mid-mountain in the Andes embraces natural light and the local landscape

An Off-Grid A-Frame in the Heart of Chile's Conguillío National Park


Field Mag

Courtesy of your highly caffeinated and ever thankful editorial team at FM HQ

The A-Frame dreams continue to manifest. Last week we found ourselves among raw concrete and plywood in the mountains of beautiful British Columbia. And today, we track some 7,000 miles to the rugged countryside of remote Chile, where a prism-like A-Frame of glass and black corrugated steel inspires on a whole ‘nother level.

Set midway up a mountain in the middle of Conguillío National Park, a heavily forested park popular with skiers and nature lovers in the heart of the Andes, Casa Prisma by prominent Chilean architect Smiljan Radić is a multi-structure vacation home designed to embrace the surrounding landscape and offer the owners a refuge to reconnect with nature when away from their home in Santiago.

On opposing ends of a long wooden deck sits a towering black A-Frame and a triangular structure, the former inspired by the late Japanese architect Kazuo Shinohara’s 1974 Prism House and the latter a reproduction of Radić’s own previous build—an homage of sorts. Glass facades on both structures draw in early morning light an the final rays of sunset, and of course offer unobstructed views of the surrounding parkland.


As is Radić’s tendency, the whole build was done with artisanal precision, opting to use local timber and existing landscape forms in an effort to minimize impact on the land. Solar panels and an extensive bank of batteries provide limited power to the off-grid, wifi and cell service-free site. A wood burning stove heats much of the A-Frame’s main living space.

Open plan dining and living spaces occupy the ground floor of the A-Frame, with two mirrored dorm-style bedrooms and bathrooms filling the uneasy spaces of the upper A. The opposing triangular structure houses a master bed and bath with epic east facing floor-to-ceiling glass perfect for letting the sunrise act as an alarm clock.

Dibs on dorm guest room closest to the kitchen.

Published 01-29-2020