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Hotel & Restaurant


Melipilla, Chile

Architects: Gregorio Vasquez

                   Hermann Rosenthal


The concept that makes up the heart of this project is the duality of the spirit of the horse: black and white.  On the one hand, the vigor, power, momentum and energy that rises like a leap from the ground, and on the other, the calm that is inspired by its stillness and gentleness, together, manage to unite the experience of moving about the facilities with pleasure, appealing to the senses, with tectonic elements belonging to a space in communion with nature, thus becoming the first influential gastro-tourism project in Chile’s central region.
It is located some 60 Kilometers outside of Santiago, the capital, in the Melipilla sector, along the mountain ranges of the Chilean coastline.


The name, Melipilla del Mapudungún, Meli (four) and Pillán (spirit) represents the concept strongly rooted in the project from the beginning, and thus defines its positioning in the available land. It appears as two elements on slopes, the white horse and the black one revolving around the four Mapuche spirits.   
The collection is placed in nature, and has the best open views of the plains, and to the east, the high and snowy peaks of the Andes. It is located in a place full of rural, farm history, coming from the cultural tradition and horse folklore, in its form and use of space, and additionally, its atmosphere offers visitors the best of the central valley, both in environment, colors, aromas and typical Chilean cuisine.


It has a unique, unifying quality being a halfway point, and at a strategic location between the urban areas, ports and the major wine production valleys of the country, making it an economic hub able to link the central Metropolitan Santiago to the south through the road, “camino de la fruta” with Rancagua and the Rapel Lake, in addition to the costal areas of Viña del Mar, San Antonio and Pichilemu.


These assets, in location logistics, architecture, accommodations and cuisine are what allow for truly capturing the spirit of the area and make this project a unique space by combining each of these characteristics in one single place with the highest standards of quality, design and comfort that the visitor might need.  
This project emerged from the client’s need to design a restaurant that welcomes a diverse and innovative variety of cuisine, which is being done currently together with a wine cellar for commercial use. As a second purpose, a hotel – spa would serve not only for the use of travelers, but also the locals. Together with this, the proposal should incorporate land elements such as the colors of mud or clay handcrafts typical of the community, in addition to reflecting the client’s passion for equestrian culture, making reference to the form and movements of the animal as well as the achievement made by Chile in the horse high jump competition of 1949, reaching a world record of 2.47 meters, which will be the reference used for the height of the banks holding one of the structures.


Two elements will be created with opposite characteristics. On one side will be the dark volume, the black horse, and contrasting this is the white horse.
This is how the black horse is shown elevated, active and light like a horse jumping, vibrant on the outside, with open spaces such as balconies, terraces, and natural amphitheaters, achieving a transportation of all this energy to the interior, to the lounges and bar areas. One can see, as in the central part where the hearth is found, a reflection of the heart of the animal.  Thus it is perceived as a dormant organ that surrounds the diner and makes for a more exquisite experience.
To emphasize this idea of mobility, it was decided to sink the facilities of the wine cellar, and to complete the sensation of the jump, by bringing everything concerning the world of wine to a habitable basement, that is used not only for storage, but also for display and tasting of the different species of wine in the country.


The white horse: This part of the project encourages a sense of calm and stillness, and sits on the plain, opening up to the spaces surrounding and the environment. It’s level flat base, allows for impressive views from the rooms, and the common areas have a view of the land, the wineries and the mountains and incorporates these into the interior, by means of soft, light and translucent textures, creating wide and serene spaces marking a symbol of the hotel that encourages respect and tranquility.
From the beginning, the history of Melipilla was considered, from its location, color, to the texture and image of its land and farming and equestrian traditions.


Much care was taken so that the project would have a positive impact, maintaining for example the scale of buildings, the levelness, the integration of the landscape, in addition to transforming it into a linking point between the rural and urban areas, and strengthening the use of indigenousness elements in its architecture and cuisine.
It will also be recognized as a major tourist destination and a main gourmet gastronomic center of the region, not only directly generating work but also hundreds of opportunities and connections that indirectly benefit so many people.
The project reflects high-level quality standards as much for the products that are displayed as for the users’ accessibility. Being a multi-level project, it is equipped with access ramps at all levels for both disabled persons and people with impaired movement, in addition to providing support rails in the high areas.


This project presents technologies for energy efficiency in the facilities and their operation, as well as in the lighting and storage in the wine cellars, in addition to the eco-efficiency in the layout of the spaces. For this reason, at the time of its construction, not only will image of the construction be considered but also, taking advantage of the natural conditions of the land. An example of this is the temperature control, which is done by situating the restaurant opposite the north, allowing the structure to protect and give adequate shade for the Mediterranean climate, which has an average temperature of 18°C, but in the summer, stays above 30°C. By contrast, in the hotel space, sun is given priority in both the rooms and the recreational areas of the outside pools.
Later, between the main structures, a green corridor slope is found where the vineyards are cultivated. These take advantage of the water that is received in the spray irrigation, in addition to being a natural protector to and from the pool area.


Another factor to consider within the eco-efficiency theme was the reuse of constructive elements, as the bricks a the base of the slopes are recycled from an English wheat industry about 100 years old, belonging to family of the director, an aspect which the client liked very much, because this new project was based on family support. Also, all the wood used in the lounge is recycled from 14 English oak beams from the same industry.


In loving memory of

Rafael Aguila

Gastronomer & Chef


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