The projects presented in this issue are not only the expression of a culture of dwelling tied to the particular geographical context of Chile; they are also an exemplification of a virtuous approach to the transformation of the city and territory. An approach that, having assimilated the most authentic lesson of the Modern Movement, unites historical memory, local traditions and contemporary needs in a constant association with the nature of the site and the country’s different climatic conditions. Occupying a geographical area that stretches for more than 4,000 kilometres, Chile is characterised by a wide variety of habitats ranging from the deserts of the north to southern regions abundant with lakes and rivers. One of the themes faced by the new generation of Chilean architects is precisely the relationship bwetwen architecture and the environment. The growing interest in overcoming globalised solutions produced by simply applying standardised technological devices pushes for a reconsideration of the configuration of architecture and the architectural envelope in its entirety, producing results of notable quality. This approach has generated studies of massive envelopes in concrete, carved into by openings that facilitate the natural ventilation of interior spaces, proposed, for example, by Alejandro Aravena for the Innovation Center UC in Santiago, or by Hevia, Motta, Manzi for the Faculty of Economics at the Diego Portales University or by Felipe Assadi and Francisca Pulido in Valdivia; all alternatives to the glass envelopes of so many buildings in Santiago’s business district. Guided by common sense and a marked sensitivity toward the reduced use of means and environmental resources, the research of Chilean architects seeks to identify new forms of balance between architecture and landscape, another important theme. The need to adapt to high elevations and the irregularities of the terrain, the choice not to worsen the already high density of urban centres by seeking spaces below the ground for new services and public spaces has led to the development of an interesting line of research into the connection between building and ground. The School in Panguipulli, for example, wedged into the urban fabric of a small settlement in southern Chile atop a ridge, confronts the scale of the magnificent mountainous landscape without renouncing relations with the city centre, via a system of open spaces that respect the topography of the site to favour spaces of encounter and socialisation. “A project in the environment rather than a building”, is the term used to the define the Parque Cultural de Valparaiso; here the strategy of building only the minimum necessary, reutilising existing structures, is in perfect symbiosis with the fragmented topography of the site, integrating and opening up a once inaccessible space to the city. In Santiago, near the very central Plaza des Armas, Smiljan Radic has completed an addition to the Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art, a refined project of particular interest also for its work with the depth of the soil. The increase in area for the location of the new exhibition spaces was obtained thanks to the insertion of new spaces in the depth of the soil and beneath two existing courtyards.
CONTEMPORARY ARCHITECTURE TRENDS IN CHILE - Pg. 4
Alessandra De Cesaris
SANTIAGO, A CITY OF MANY CITIES - Pg. 16
Laura Valeria Ferretti
LAS RAZONES DEL CENTRO – Pg. 24
In 2011 the Angelini Group decided to fund the construction of an innovation centre designed to bring companies and businesses in contact with university research and academic instruction. The fourteen storey tower (three of which are basement levels), inverts the plan of the traditional typology of the tall building and substitutes the characteristic closed central core with an open and transparent nucleus, and the lightweight and glazed external envelope with an opaque and massive one. The architect’s choice was dictated primarily by climatic conditions in Santiago, which is very hot during the summer and very cold during the winter.
To respond to the highly characteristic meteorological conditions of the site the architects designed a double skin that wraps the building. The envelope consists of a metal mesh, the same colour as the desert and inspired by the reed mats used to shade the fruit and vegetable stands in the city’s market. This skin is entrusted with mitigating the external air temperature and protecting the building’s users from solar radiation and dust. This mesh also serves an aesthetic-formal function, unifying the elevations and defining a front through which it is possible to read the articulation of the spaces behind it. The base, stripped of this skin, reveals the materials used in the project: wood and concrete. The first is used on the façades to create brise soleil, and on the underside of the slabs as a finishing material; the second is instead used as a building material that is left exposed when revealed on the elevations.
The NAVE is a research centre and residence for artists. It is the result of a private initiative in 2010 and managed by a foundation. The centre was created to stimulate and favour research in the fields of dance, theatre and music, encouraging collaboration and dialogue between the arts and with other disciplines. The project began with the complete strip out of a historic building, initially destroyed by fire and later by the 2010 earthquake. Only the façades were maintained. The promoters and artists involved in the project refute the traditional space of the theatre and the stage as the primary space of performance; this generated the request for a versatile and expandable space. The interior of the NAVE is laid out in three main blocks: a “black box”, a “white box” and the hostel.
The Dinamarca 399 building was constructed in the early twentieth century by the Consul of Denmark Mr Jean Thierry, a man much loved by the locals for having brought state-of-the-art medical facilities to Valparaiso and Chile. In 2014 the architect Joaquín Velasco Rubio transformed the existing building into a multipurpose space, preserving the structure and façade.The project is part of a programme to regenerate and stimulate an entire area of the city, with the objective of promoting civic-cultural activities through the organisation of festivals, exhibitions and art events. The year 2011 saw the inauguration of the Parque Cultural de Valparaiso, a project that transformed a historic prison and spaces around it into a museum centre. Dinamarca 399 belongs to this active cultural context and the objective of the centre is that of offering the city spaces where professionals and artists can develop and realise their ideas.
The Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art was inaugurated in 1986. It is located inside the royal customs house built in 1805, a beautiful two-storey building structured around two courts in the heart of Santiago, near the Piazza das Armas, the central public space of the Casco Historico. The objective of the project commissioned to Smiljan Radić was the addition of an exhibition space and the introduction of more sophisticated and modern technologies for the conservation and exhibition of the Museum’s delicate relics without altering the essence of the historic building. Without introducing radical changes, Radić managed to increase exhibition space by 70% and to create 1,300 square meters of conservation and restoration workshops, storage and services for visitors by creating a new two-storey hypogeal building. The heart of the addition is a new 450 square meter exhibition space, located directly beneath the two courts.
This project is the result of a competition to revise an existing master plan and define the first phase of construction of the new Huechuraba Campus of the Faculty of Economics at the Diego Portales University. The new Campus is situated in the northern part of Santiago, at the feet of the Cerro San Cristobal on a site that slopes down toward the Huechuraba Valley. The buildings of the Campus establish a strong relationship with the local geography, both in the design of the section which adapts to the level changes, and visually through the creation of a series of privileged points of observation. The design of the new Campus, whose built portion is part of a vaster master plan, is organised around four elements: a basement, a linear building, a series of isolated buildings and a park.
The Panguipulli school was designed like a small village formed by a series on one and two-storey buildings, positioned to offer views of the surrounding panorama and guarantee the proper orientation with respect to the sun and protection against cold winter winds. The site consists of the area of an old school, wedged into the city fabric, and a terrain situated on a ridge that enjoys a commanding view. In the area of the old school, in contact with the city, in a building slightly separated from the rest of the complex, the architects placed the entrance, library, administrative area and nursery. On the high ridge, set around three common areas, they located the classrooms and facilities for upper classes.
The Faculty of Economic and Administrative Sciences building is the fruit of a design competition organised by the Universidad Austral de Chile, in the city of Valdivia, immersed in a landscape of luxurious vegetation and with an abundant presence of water. The architects were challenged to deal on the one hand with the landscape and, on the other, with an existing building. The form of the building is the result of a desire to respect what existed and to preserve the most important trees on the site. The design approach adopted ruptures an elementary volume at a specific point, moving the two parts in opposite directions, to give the volume a “Z”-shape. This spatial configuration is harmoniously integrated with the site and its insertion ensures elevated levels of natural ilumination in all interior spaces. The organisation of the exterior spaces was also designed to dialogue with the elements of the site.
The Parque Bicentenario de la Infancia was commissioned to Elemental by the governing body of the Parque Metropolitano and the Chilean National Council for Infancy. The site is on the slopes of the Cerro San Cristobal. The project represents the cornerstone of the future Paseo Zócalo Metropolitano, a path created along the bed of a now dry historic irrigation canal running along the base of the Cerro, slated to become a broad and level pedestrian route. The canal defines the upper limit of the Children’s Park, an initial attempt to transform the geography of the city, creating a quality public space linking rich and poor neighbourhoods. the park is home to an administration building, public toilets, a cafeteria, a kiosk and an amphitheatreThe park was separated from the road by a perimeter that is given a function and transformed into an obstacle course, protected by a brightly coloured steel structure that defines the face of the Park from the Avenida del Perù.
This project is the result of a competition organised in 2009 by the Ministerio de Obras públicas del Gobierno de Chile to convert an old prison into a cultural park. The site measures approximately two hectares, the largest level surface in the undulating topography of Valparaiso, characterised by a succession of hills and valleys that drop vertiginously down toward the Pacific Ocean. The authors of the project have emphasised on the one hand the strategy of building “very little”, improving and renovating what existed; on the other hand they have worked to integrate the existing with its surroundings, offering the city access to a once impenetrable and inaccessible space. The area of the former prison has in fact been transformed into a hinge open to the city, which reconnects its diverse levels by introducing a public path that crosses the site and integrates the exiting road network.
- Luci sulla città pubblica - Pag. 96
- Architecture & Refugees, cosa può fare l’architettura per l’emergenza profughi – Pag. 102
- La salvaguardia dei villaggi tradizionali in Cina - Pag. 110
LIBRI - Pag. 112
NOTIZIE - Pag. 114
PANTOGRAFO - Pag. 119
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