Shelter for the Wanderer – A Rustic Retreat Made From Salvaged Wood

Set among the barren landscape of the Valley of the Condors in Chile, this small shack serves as a shelter to passerby’s. The valley bridges Chile and Argentina. It’s so large, there are still unexplored regions.


Traditionally it was a route occupied and used by herdsmen, shuffling cattle to protect them from the sometimes harsh weather conditions. More recently, it’s been frequented by hikers and climbers.



The traditional building typology of the region is robust and rustic, making use of the readily available materials (namely rock). It was these qualities that the architects – Hans André Kubat Sarria – wanted to recreate for their own project, adequately named, Shelter for the Wanderer.



The shelter occupies just 431-square-feet (40 square meters). It’s mostly composed of timber, rock and corrugated metal sheeting. The construction process was completed by a team amateurs and volunteers made up of the very people for whom the shelter was built – hikers and climbers.


Despite appearance, the building actually has two levels. The first and most obvious is set on the main wood floor of the shelter. The second is set beneath the wood floor, it’s fashioned onto of the crawl space between the ground level and the floor joists.


The crawl space is enclosed with rocks and has some rough seating carved out from the landscape itself. On the main level, a simple sheet of wood acts as a surface for sleeping on, as storage, or as a prep area. Shelving has been created from pieces of timber that tie the walls studs together.

Shelter for the Wanderer - André Hans Kubat Sarria - Chile - Section - Humble Homes

The wood has been salvaged from another forgotten shelter that had fallen into disarray. Thanks to this, nothing is perfect or refined, instead its beauty lies in the stitching together of the individual pieces of wood.

For more shelters check out Veetee, a floating timber pavilion from Soomaa National Park in Estonia. Or, Hemlig Rom, a rustic retreat that features a built-in library. See all spaces.

Via ArchDaily
Photos: Hans André Kubat Sarria

Niall Burke

Structural engineer by day, tiny house designer by night. Niall has a keen interest in small spaces, green design, and sustainability. He started developing Humble Homes while studying for his masters degree in engineering. He is the founder and managing editor of Humble Homes.

  1. how cold would the shelter be since some of the pictures of the shelter looks like it have the space between the boards so that it could possibly cold down during the summer but how cold does the temperature go down in that location at night. crawlspace is not second level but possibly a storage space.

  2. the roof design appears to channel the water inside. I applaud their effort but it may be for naught as a “shelter” it is not :(

  3. The refuge for the Wanderer takes almost a year from its construction, and to work wonderfully, people appreciate it, care and maintains, since the user is quite specific …
    This is built with recycled material, so it is obvious that it would lack both thermal, but the term refuge is not a place of 5 stars, is by definition a place which can shelter you and protect you from the inclement weather at a certain time , And its purpose as I said above is satisfactory, the deck and the metal wall adequately protect the sun and wind, and under the work there is a pyramid of stones where you can make a fire that allows to raise the heat and maintain Warm the place.