News Home & Design Rentable Rural Guesthouse Maximizes Sunlight and Landscape Views Spending quality time in nature doesn't necessarily mean having to rough it. By Kimberley Mok Kimberley Mok Twitter Writer McGill University Cornell University Kimberley Mok is a former architect who has been covering architecture and the arts for Treehugger since 2007. Learn about our editorial process Published July 4, 2022 01:00PM EDT Fact checked by Haley Mast Fact checked by Haley Mast LinkedIn Harvard University Extension School Haley Mast is a freelance writer, fact-checker, and small organic farmer in the Columbia River Gorge. She enjoys gardening, reporting on environmental topics, and spending her time outside snowboarding or foraging. Topics of expertise and interest include agriculture, conservation, ecology, and climate science. Learn about our fact checking process Share Twitter Pinterest Email Marcos Guiponi News Environment Business & Policy Science Animals Home & Design Current Events Treehugger Voices News Archive Many of us are aware of the wonderful health benefits that come with spending quality time in nature on a regular basis. The combination of fresh air, ample doses of sunlight, living greenery, and birdsong have all been proven to help lower stress and increase physical and mental well-being. But spending that quality time in nature doesn't necessarily mean having to rough it in a tent; there are plenty of so-called "glamping" (or "glamorous camping") options out there for people who don't like to camp, and who are willing to shell out a bit of extra cash for a deluxe experience. For those looking to experience the natural beauty of the landscape in Uruguay, this short-term rental designed by local firm TATŪ Arquitectura has been oriented to maximize both comfort and views out to the hills beyond. Marcos Guiponi Located in Lavalleja, a region known for its agricultural and tourism industries, the Guazubira 365 House serves as a refuge for visitors looking for a quiet respite from the hustle and bustle of modern-day life. The 376-square-foot guesthouse is located in Villa Serrana, which is only 30 minutes away from Minas, the regional capital city. As the architects explain, the design of this guesthouse reflects new attitudes to tourism locally and globally: "Villa Serrana is a neighborhood over the hills that has existed in the Department of Lavalleja for more than half a century, but seems to have found in the most recent decade its place of interest for the renovated public in search of 'the weekend house'. Perhaps not in the terms to which we were traditionally accustomed, because the new rurality is temporary, and is composed of a mixture between the productive tradition, and the experiences linked to the new desires of landscape, and to its possible associated manufactures that open a series of opportunities to inhabit or make the landscape profitable, thanks to new technologies." Marcos Guiponi The boxy, wood-clad exterior of the Guazubira 365 House offers a strikingly modern contrast to its hilly environs. A few large windows have been placed strategically to maximize views out over the landscape, including the main facade which has an extra-long series of sliding glass doors that can open up to create a sense of connection between outdoors and indoors. Marcos Guiponi The architects explain further why this long, glazed facade is a crucial part of the design, and how the occupation of the house is conceived as a series of framed views: "The shelter was thought of as an anomaly in the sierras that could provoke interest from the geometric contrast of the volume inserted in a natural environment. Its distribution was oriented to be inhabited and provide shelter in short-term stays, in an itinerant way, closing three of its faces to the outside and focusing the interest on the more qualified horizon. In the rest of the surfaces, a series of hierarchical frames are built that crop and propose specific landscape segments that went on to become part of the interior experience of the object." Marcos Guiponi The guesthouse has been designed in a modular way, as the client wanted to have the option of potentially expanding the single unit into a double one on the same plot of land if the need ever arose in the future. To accommodate this possibility, the designers say: "We had to estimate and anticipate relationship and visual interferences [between the house and the surrounding landscape] to guarantee the least contaminated coexistence as possible." The layout is simple and includes a living room, bedroom, kitchenette, bathroom, and a long, sheltered outdoor terrace that is carved out of the overall volume of the guesthouse. This lengthy, glazed facade faces north, which in the southern hemisphere means optimal sun exposure throughout the day. Marcos Guiponi The materials used here are simple but efficiently deployed; one gets the sense that the outdoor parts seem to wrap themselves inward so that they become part of the interior, as it does here in the ceiling of the living room. Marcos Guiponi The kitchen and bathroom are located in the central zone of the house, with the bathroom being the only enclosed space in the house. The long corridor here serves to connect one end of the home to the other, and it's where the kitchen has been located as well, its black-painted domain seemingly "carved" out of the unit's central volume. Marcos Guiponi This small-scaled project orients itself to the light and to the surrounding landscape in order to best maximize the enjoyment of both. To see more, visit TATŪ Arquitectura and Airbnb.