House N°2 / Martin Hurtado

Courtesy of Martin Hurtado

Architects: Martin Hurtado Arquitectos
Location: ,
Project Area: 481 sqm
Project Year: 2014
Photographs: Courtesy of Martin Hurtado

Chile’s “Monolith Controversies” – Winner of the Silver Lion at the Venice Biennale

Monolith Controversies. . 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 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.

Tunquén House / Nicolas Loi

© Marcos Mendizabal

Architects: Nicolas Loi
Location: Tunquen, Algarrobo, Valparaíso Region,
Area: 250 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Marcos Mendizabal

Synagogue and Community Center C.I.S. / JBA + Gabriel Bendersky + Richard von Moltke

© Aryeh Kornfeld

Architects: JBA +  + Richard von Moltke
Location: Lo Barnechea, Metropolitan Region, Chile
Area: 10,218 sqm
Photographs: Aryeh Kornfeld

Alianza Francesa Jean Mermoz School / Guillermo Hevia García + Nicolás Urzúa Soler

© Nico Saieh

Architects: Guillermo Hevia García , Nicolás Urzúa Soler
Location: , Maule Region,
Area: 1,660 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Nico Saieh

Fauna Hotel / Fantuzzi + Rodillo Arquitectos

© Pablo Blanco

Architects: Fantuzzi + Rodillo Arquitectos
Location: Paseo Dimalow, Valparaíso, Valparaíso Region,
Architect In Charge: Roberto Fantuzzi, Jaime Rodillo
Area: 710 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Pablo Blanco

Grupo Talca Wins 2014 YAP Chile with “Wicker Forest”

© Grupo Talca

Grupo Talca’s four meter “Wicker Forest” has been announced as winner of the annual Young Architects Program (YAP) in Chile. Designed as an inhabitable landscape of wicker sticks, the red forested structure will “catch particles dragged by the wind, while providing shade and movement” to the visitors of CONSTRUCTO upon completion in next year.

Grupo Talca is the fifth winner of Chile, following the commission of UMWELT’s “climatically responsive container for artwork.” You can find more images of the Wicker Forest, after the break…

Boulevard Las Brujas / Mas Fernandez Arquitectos

© Nico Saieh

Architects: Mas Fernandez Arquitectos
Location: , Santiago Metropolitan Region,
Architects In Charge: Cristóbal Fernández, Andrés Mas, Patricio Pinto, Antonio Mundi
Area: 5,001 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Nico Saieh

Costanera Lyon 2 / Eugenio Simonetti + Renato Stewart

© Pablo Casals-Aguirre

Architects: Eugenio Simonetti,
Location: , Santiago Metropolitan Region, Chile
Design Team: Juan Santa Maria, Danilo Magni, Alvaro Romero
Area: 230000.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Pablo Casals-Aguirre, Courtesy of Eugenio Simonetti, Renato Stewart

Casa CBI / SGGB Arquitectos

Courtesy of Sebastian Guevara Sinclair

Architects: SGGB Arquitectos
Location: Puerto Varas, Los Lagos Region,
Architect In Charge: Sebastián Guevara Sinclair
Area: 165.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Courtesy of Sebastian Guevara Sinclair

GIZ / FAR frohn&rojas

Courtesy of FAR frohn&rojas

Architects: FAR frohn&rojas
Location: , Metropolitan Region,
Area: 200.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Courtesy of FAR frohn&rojas

School of Economics and Business Diego Portales University / Rafael Hevia + Rodrigo Duque Motta + Gabriela Manzi

© FG+SG – Fernando Guerra, Sergio Guerra

Architects: Rodrigo Duque Motta, Rafael Hevia, Gabriela Manzi
Location: Santa Clara, Huechuraba, Metropolitan Region, Chile
Collaborator: Catalina Ventura
External Collaborator: Martin Holmes
Project Area: 16644.0 m2
Project Year: 2013
Photography: FG+SG – Fernando Guerra, Sergio Guerra

Hostal Ritoque / Gabriel Rudolphy + Alejandro Soffia

Courtesy of Alejandro Soffia

Architects: Gabriel Rudolphy , Alejandro Soffia
Location: Ritoque, Quintero, Valparaíso Region,
Area: 183.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Courtesy of Alejandro Soffia, Pablo Casals-Aguirre

What If MOMA Had Expanded Underground (And Saved The American Folk Art Museum)?

Sculpture Garden, MOMA. Image © Andrew Moore,

In January of this year, the latest work by Smiljan Radic, the Chilean architect chosen to design the next Serpentine Pavilion, opened to public acclaim. The Museum of Pre-Columbian Art (Museo de Arte Precolombino), located in Santiago de Chile, is a restoration project that managed to sensitively maintain an original colonial structure  – all while increasing the space by about 70%.

Two days before the The Museum of Pre-Columbian Art opened, the Museum of Metropolitan Art (MOMA) in New York issued a statement that it would demolish the American Folk Art Museum (AFAM), designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, in order to accomplish its envisioned expansion. Two weeks ago, preparations for demolition began.

Some background: MOMA had hired Diller Scofidio + Renfro a year earlier to design the expansion. The office asked for a period of six months to consider the possibilities of integrating the American Folk Art Museum into the design. After studying a vast array of options (unknown to the public) they were unable to accommodate MOMA’s shifting program needs with the AFAM building. They proposed a new circulation loop with additional gallery space and new program located where the AFAM is (was) located.

What appears here is not strictly a battle between an institution that wants to reflect the spirit of the time vs a building that is inherently specific to its place. It represents a lost design opportunity. What if the American Folk Art Museum had been considered an untouchable civic space in the city of New York, much like the The Museum of Pre-Columbian Art is for the city for Santiago? Then a whole new strategy for adaptive reuse would have emerged.

School of Design and Institute of Urban Studies / Sebastián Irarrázaval

© Nico Saieh

Architect: Sebastián Irarrázaval
Location: Pontificia Universidad Católica de – Monsenor Carlos Casanueva, Providencia, Metropolitan Region,
Associated Architects: Cristián Irarrázaval, Francisca Rivera
Project Management: Departamento de Infraestructura de la Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Technical Inspection: Dictuc
Area: 4716.0 m2
Project Year: 2010
Photos: Nico Saieh

ELEMENTAL Proposes Pedestrian Path To Connect Districts of Santiago

Courtesy of

ELEMENTAL has given us details on a proposed 14.5 km pedestrian and bike path within , Chile that will run along the base of San Cristobal Hill and connect the city’s many distinct communities. According to ELEMENTAL, the proposal – named “Metropolitan Promenade” – seeks to facilitate the use and quality of the city’s public spaces.

The total project will cost about $16 million USD and will be constructed in two stages. The first is expected for March 2015 and will deal with 7.2 kilometers in the western sector of the park. The second stage, which should be ready in September 2015, will complete the following 7.3 kilometers in the eastern sector of the park.

Read the full architect’s description, after the break.

Condominio Polo Cachagua Etapa 1 / Estudio Valdés

© Felipe Díaz Contardo

Architects: Estudio Valdés
Location: Federico Kohnenkampf, , Valparaíso Region,
Architect In Charge: Leonardo Valdés Cruz, Carlos Ignacio Cruz Elton, Alberto Cruz Elton
Area: 1286.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Felipe Díaz Contardo

Edificio Vitra / Sebastián Larroulet + Arturo López + Francisco Vergara A.

© Cristian Brahona

Architects: , Arturo López, Francisco Vergara A.
Location: Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan Region,
Area: 8286.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Cristian Brahona, Courtesy of Sebastián Larroulet, Arturo López, Francisco Vergara