Every summer, hordes of the beautiful people descend on Uruguay’s José Ignacio, the chic alternative to the nearby resort of Punta del Este. “It’s a little crazy then,” says Chilean architect Mathias Klotz. “Off season, it’s a South American oasis.” He and Uruguayan architect Carolina Pedroni recently added a trio of structures to a 12-acre private vineyard property there—a compound that entertains a constant stream of guests while embracing its rustic setting with refinement.
The buildings—a villa, guest house, and yoga pavilion—are crisp modernist boxes clad in reddish native lapacho wood, from siding to sun-screening sliding doors and folding shutters. “The wooden skin unites all the structures and provides privacy and flexibility,” Pedroni explains. “The designs integrate interior and exterior and allow the spaces to be very open or divided in different ways.” Interiors wrapped in either eucalyptus or abedul, both light-hued woods, are another unifying element.
The small buildings are part of Klotz and Pedroni’s master plan for actualizing the estate’s potential as a bucolic hospitality property. The yoga studio and the concrete-framed, one-bedroom villa rise beside a pond. The two-bedroom guest house, another prototype for future accommodations, faces the water from a distance, sitting lightly on a wooden platform that doubles as a deck. It was conceived as a prefab design that could be adapted to various sites. “These are simple but demanding structures, built with a high level of craftsmanship,” Klotz says. With their shared materials and sensibility, the three look like siblings. Their number may grow in the future, with possible added guest quarters, a pool, a restaurant, “or, perhaps, nothing more,” he notes.
The property is called Las Musas—The Muses—after the owner’s wine label. Given design that fosters communion with nature, the name is apt, particularly when classical music is performed in the yoga pavilion. With its wood cladding and vaulted ceiling, “the acoustics are wonderful,” Pedroni reports. “It’s an inspiring venue for creative activities.”
Projects Sources: Delta Light Through Trios Lighting: Ceiling Lights (Guest House). Through Mad For Modern: Side Chairs. Anibal Abbate: Stone Flooring (Villa). Camila Oks: Cushions. Throughout: Duravit: Sinks.