Travel + Leisure magazine’s Design Awards issue is one of those annual editorial events guaranteed to make even self-proclaimed sophisticates feel like they’ve missed the boat, somehow. Its survey of the best and brightest in far-flung places is usually a baleful reminder of all the places and things we’ve never seen, and if we’re honest, probably will never see.
Fortunately, here at 2Modern, we’re capable of shelving our remorse (for the weekend, at least) and simply surrendering to the voyeuristic pleasures of ravishing photographs, like these, of Chile’s Hotel Tierra Patagonia, an obvious slice of eco-tourism heaven, named by T+L as the best resort of 2013.
Tierra Patagonia’s design, executed by the Chilean firm Cazú Zegers Arquitectura (and how nice that the job was so brilliantly done by a local team), centered around the notion expressed by the Chilean poet Nicanor Parra, who wrote, “Chile, before a country, is a landscape.” And what a landscape! The Torres del Paine National Park and the shores of Lake Sarmiento are the backdrop for Tierra Patagonia’s sprawling, amorphous form, clad in native Lenga wood, built to “merge with the metaphysical landscape, not interrupt it, reminiscent of an old fossil, a prehistoric animal beached on the shore of the lake.”
Wood figures prominently in the hotel’s interior spaces as well, lending warmth and intimacy to the clean-lined modernist furnishings, kept to a luxurious minimum (we particularly like the inclusion of Isamu Noguchi’s Akari lamps in the private spaces), but no competition for the 360 degree, jaw-dropping views of natural splendor. ”This architecture,” says Cazú Zegers Arquitectura, ”does not set out to be a protagonist, but to enter into an amorous dialogue with nature.” Truth be told, that’s a conversation to which we’d love to be privy.