AD Interviews: Pedro Alonso, Curator of the Chilean Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale

01:00 - 28 July, 2014

We had the chance to sit down with Pedro Alonso, one of the curators of the Chilean pavilion “Monolith Controversies,” at the 2014 Venice Biennale, to learn more about the concept and inspiration behind the Silver Lion-winning pavilion. “We were interested in demonstrating that architects didn’t absorb modernity, but rather, they supplied it. The ones who absorbed it were the workers and the people,” Alonso told us, outside of a replica of a Chilean apartment – the entrance to the Pavilion. “The absorption of modernity has to do with the pieces we are exhibiting. For example, this apartment, the apartment of Mrs. Silvia Gutiérrez in Viña del Mar, which is an exact replica – object by object- of the 518 things that make up her living room.”

Rocas House / Studio MK27 + 57STUDIO

01:00 - 25 July, 2014
Rocas House / Studio MK27 + 57STUDIO, © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG
© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG +56

  • Architects

  • Location

    El Pangue, Zapallar, Valparaíso, Chile
  • Arquitetura

    Marcio Kogan + Renata Furlanetto + Maurizio Angelini + Benjamín Oportot + Natalia Rubio
  • Project Team

    Carlos Costa, Diana Radomysler, Laura Guedes, Maria Cristina Motta, Mariana Simas
  • Project Area

    460.0 m2
  • Project Year

    2012
  • Photography

The Winery at VIK / Smiljan Radic

00:00 - 23 July, 2014
The Winery at VIK / Smiljan Radic, © Cristobal Palma / Estudio Palma
© Cristobal Palma / Estudio Palma

© Cristobal Palma / Estudio Palma © Cristobal Palma / Estudio Palma © Cristobal Palma / Estudio Palma © Cristobal Palma / Estudio Palma +17

Lo Curro House / Nicolas Loi

01:00 - 22 July, 2014
Lo Curro House / Nicolas Loi, © Marcos Mendizabal
© Marcos Mendizabal
  • Architects

  • Location

    Lo Curro, Vitacura, Santiago Metropolitan Region, Chile
  • Area

    250.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

© Marcos Mendizabal © Marcos Mendizabal © Marcos Mendizabal © Marcos Mendizabal +24

House in Peñalolén / Planmaestro

01:00 - 19 July, 2014
House in Peñalolén / Planmaestro, © Alejandro Galarce, Mathias Jacob
© Alejandro Galarce, Mathias Jacob

© Alejandro Galarce, Mathias Jacob © Alejandro Galarce, Mathias Jacob © Alejandro Galarce, Mathias Jacob © Alejandro Galarce, Mathias Jacob +29

AD Round Up: Smiljan Radic

00:00 - 18 July, 2014
AD Round Up: Smiljan Radic, Copper House 2 / Smiljan Radic. Image © Cristobal Palma / Estudio Palma
Copper House 2 / Smiljan Radic. Image © Cristobal Palma / Estudio Palma

Although previously unknown except in his native Chile, architect Smiljan Radic has recently received international attention for his design of this year’s pavilion for London’s Serpentine Galleries. His latest and largest undertaking yet, a winery outside of Santiago, has been featured in this article by the New York Times. And now, his Mestizo Restaurant has been named one of the seven most outstanding 21st century projects in the Americas. If you're unfamiliar with Radic's unique works, we’ve compiled a round-up of some of our favorites for you to explore, including his Serpentine PavilionCopper House 2, the Mestizo Restaurant, a bus stop for the town of Krumbach, Austria, and his renovation of the Chilean Museum for Pre-Columbian Art. Enjoy!

House in Vitacura / Izquierdo Lehmann

01:00 - 17 July, 2014
House in Vitacura / Izquierdo Lehmann, © Roland Halbe
© Roland Halbe
  • Architects

  • Location

    Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan Region, Chile
  • Architect in Charge

    Luis Izquierdo, Antonia Lehmann
  • Area

    983.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2012
  • Photographs

© Roland Halbe © Roland Halbe © Roland Halbe © Roland Halbe +20

This Floating Platform Could Filter the Plastic from our Polluted Oceans

00:00 - 16 July, 2014
This Floating Platform Could Filter the Plastic from our Polluted Oceans, Courtesy of Cristian Ehrmantraut
Courtesy of Cristian Ehrmantraut

"Plastic is an extremely durable material, taking 500 years to biodegrade, yet it's designed to be used for an average of 5 minutes, and so it's thrown away. Few know where this mass of junk will end up ... in the oceans, killing and silently destroying everything, even us."

Cristian Ehrmantraut has developed a prototype for a floating platform that filters the ocean and absorbs plastic. Located 4 km from the coast of Easter Island, close to the center of the mega-vortex of plastic located in the South Pacific, the tetrahedral platform performs a kind of dialysis, allowing the natural environment to be recovered as well as energy and food to be produced.

Casa en El Arrayán / Planmaestro + Cristián Schmitt Rivera

01:00 - 16 July, 2014
Casa en El Arrayán / Planmaestro + Cristián Schmitt Rivera, © Mathias Jacob
© Mathias Jacob

© Mathias Jacob © Mathias Jacob © Mathias Jacob © Mathias Jacob +21

Artiagoitia House / Raimundo Anguita

01:00 - 12 July, 2014
Artiagoitia House / Raimundo Anguita, © Oliver Yaneza
© Oliver Yaneza
  • Architects

  • Location

    Vitacura, Santiago Metropolitan Region, Chile
  • Design Team

    Raimundo Anguita , Elvira Guillon
  • Area

    260.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2012
  • Photographs

© Oliver Yaneza © Oliver Yaneza © Oliver Yaneza © Oliver Yaneza +25

Rambla House / LAND Arquitectos

01:00 - 8 July, 2014
Rambla House / LAND Arquitectos, © Sergio Pirrone
© Sergio Pirrone
  • Architects

  • Location

    Zapallar, Valparaíso Region, Chile
  • Partners in Charge

    Cristóbal Valenzuela H., Ángela Delorenzo A.
  • Area

    123.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2012
  • Photographs

© Sergio Pirrone © Sergio Pirrone © Sergio Pirrone © Sergio Pirrone +28

Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize to Celebrate the Best Built Works in the Americas July 9

00:00 - 7 July, 2014
Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize to Celebrate the Best Built Works in the Americas July 9, Courtesy of MCHAP
Courtesy of MCHAP

This July 9th, the winners of the inaugural Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize (MCHAP) - for which 36 outstanding projects have been shortlisted - will be announced in Santiago, Chile. Our editor-in-chief, David Basulto, has been named a founding member of the International Advisory Council of MCHAP, and ArchDaily will be covering the event. Read on after the break for details of the event.

ELEMENTAL's OchoQuebradas: "The Spirit of the Primitive"

00:00 - 7 July, 2014
ELEMENTAL's OchoQuebradas: "The Spirit of the Primitive", Courtesy of Elemental
Courtesy of Elemental

Elemental's design for Casa OchoQuebradas draws on the rugged landscape of its site, a cliff on the coast of Chile, to create a rugged, even primitive weekend house design of concrete volumes. Inspired by their idea that "a weekend house is ultimately a kind of retreat where people allowed themselves to suspend the conventions of life and go back to a more essential living," the house is a simple composition which incorporates such features as a main room which can be opened up to the outdoors and a central open fire.

More on Casa OchoQuebradas after the break

Courtesy of Elemental Courtesy of Elemental Courtesy of Elemental Courtesy of Elemental +43

Transmission Central / UMWELT + Juan Manuel Sepúlveda

01:00 - 26 June, 2014
Transmission Central / UMWELT + Juan Manuel Sepúlveda, © Felipe Fontecilla
© Felipe Fontecilla
  • Architects

  • Location

    San Cristóbal Hill, Providencia, Santiago Metropolitan Region, Chile
  • Architect in Charge

    UMWELT + Juan Manuel Sepúlveda
  • Area

    190.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2014
  • Photographs

© Felipe Fontecilla © Felipe Fontecilla © Felipe Fontecilla © Felipe Fontecilla +9

Tierras Blancas House / Alberto Browne + Hernán Fontaine

01:00 - 25 June, 2014
Tierras Blancas House / Alberto Browne + Hernán Fontaine, Courtesy of Alberto Browne
Courtesy of Alberto Browne
  • Architects

  • Location

    Catapilco, Zapallar, Valparaíso Region, Chile
  • Area

    360.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2012
  • Photographs

    Courtesy of Alberto Browne

Courtesy of Alberto Browne Courtesy of Alberto Browne Courtesy of Alberto Browne Courtesy of Alberto Browne +18

House for 60 Friends / Martin Hurtado

01:00 - 23 June, 2014
© Leonardo Finotti
© Leonardo Finotti

© Leonardo Finotti © Leonardo Finotti © Leonardo Finotti © Leonardo Finotti +66

House N°2 / Martin Hurtado

01:00 - 19 June, 2014
House N°2  / Martin Hurtado, Courtesy of Martin Hurtado
Courtesy of Martin Hurtado
  • Architects

  • Location

    Araucanía Region, Chile
  • Project Area

    481.0 m2
  • Project Year

    2014
  • Photography

    Courtesy of Martin Hurtado

Courtesy of Martin Hurtado Courtesy of Martin Hurtado Courtesy of Martin Hurtado Courtesy of Martin Hurtado +40

Chile's "Monolith Controversies" - Winner of the Silver Lion at the Venice Biennale

01:00 - 13 June, 2014
Chile's "Monolith Controversies" - Winner of the Silver Lion at the Venice Biennale, Monolith Controversies. Venice Biennale 2014. Image © Nico Saieh
Monolith Controversies. Venice Biennale 2014. Image © Nico Saieh

Between 1931 and 1981, the Soviet Union exported a prefab concrete panel system for housing - whose development and exportation embodied the ideals of the modern movement - to countries around the world, creating more than 170 million apartments. In 1972, during the socialist government of Salvador Allende, the USSR donated a panel factory to Chile. The Chile KPD (an acronym derived from the Russian words for “large concrete panel”) produced a total of 153 buildings during its operation, before being shut down and forgotten during the military dictatorship.

The full story of the concrete panels produced in Chile had been buried in history, but research conducted by curators Pedro Alonso and Hugo Palmarola for the Chile Pavilion has resurfaced the political, ideological and aesthetic implications of the panel. Monolith Controversies not only shows the technical aspects of a fundamental element of a prefab building system, but also demonstrates how it was connected to an ideology. Upon entering the Chile pavilion, visitors find themselves in the recreation of an interior of one of the apartments. Next they enter the main space, in which one concrete panel found by the curators stands as the representation of how modernity was absorbed in Chile.

In the Absorbing Modernity section of the Biennale, Koolhaas asked curators from all over the world to bring to light the ways modernism developed in their countries. The work done by the Chilean curators in the Monolith Controversies exhibition is one of the best examples of this call, recognized by the jury with the Silver Lion. Read on for the curator’s statement.

Monolith Controversies. Venice Biennale 2014. Image © Nico Saieh Monolith Controversies. Venice Biennale 2014. Image © Nico Saieh Monolith Controversies. Venice Biennale 2014. Image © Nico Saieh Monolith Controversies. Venice Biennale 2014. Image © Nico Saieh +17