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

Sculpture Garden, MOMA. Image © Andrew Moore, http://andrewlmoore.com/

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

Echeñique House / Fones Arquitectos

© Antonio Aros

Architects: Fones Arquitectos
Location: La Reina, Metropolitan Region, Chile
Architect In Charge: Nicolas Fones Claro
Area: 360 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Antonio Aros

After the Wildfires: How Will Chile Rebuild Its Informal Communities?

For those unfamiliar with Valparaíso, allow me to inform you: this city is a treasure. The UNESCO World Heritage site and cultural capital of is defined by its winding paths, happily graffitied streets, antiquated funiculars, and – above all – its colorful, tightly-packed hills. And because of its precarious density, the city was brought to its knees by vicious forest fires this past weekend, fires which quickly spread and consumed 2,500 acres, displacing over 12,500 people whose homes were destroyed.

The hills where the fires hit hardest are similar to Brazilian favelas – inhabited by informal residents who have little to no access to infrastructure and who constructed their homes themselves, illegally, and – as the fires have proven – rather perilously.

The response of the Chilean government so far has been to suggest bulldozing and building again in “a more orderly manner.” To do so, the government has intimated that it will expropriate land and relocate citizens to safer sites.

However, residents have already begun resisting this potential outcome. As ArchDaily correspondent Nicolás Valencia reported from Cerro Ramaditas (one of the hillside communities most devastated by the fire), many have refused to leave for fear that their land be taken from them; those that have gone, have left markers “cordoning off what they consider theirs with pieces of wood or metal cans.”

It’s a troubling dilemma: evict victims from the only home they’ve ever known or relegate them to lives at risk of future catastrophe. But could there be another way?

Synthon Laboratory Building / GH+A | Guillermo Hevia

© Nico Saieh

Architects: GH+A | Guillermo Hevia
Location: El Castaño, Quilicura, Santiago Metropolitan Region,
Area: 3200.0 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Nico Saieh

Ambient 30 60 – YAP CONSTRUCTO 2014 / UMWELT

© Cristobal Palma / Estudio Palma

Architects: UMWELT
Location: Parque Araucano, Las Condes, Santiago Metropolitan Region,
Project Architects: Scheidegger & García Partarrieu
Project Area: 445.0 m2
Project Year: 2014
Photography: Cristobal Palma / Estudio Palma, Courtesy of

Carozzi Production and Research Food Center / GH+A | Guillermo Hevia

© Nico Saieh

Architects: GH+A | Guillermo Hevia
Location: San Bernardo, Metropolitan Region,
Architects In Charge: Tomás Villalón A., Francisco Carrión G., Javier González E.
Project Area: 52000 sqm
Project Year: 2012
Photographs: Nico Saieh

Aguantao House / Fones Arquitectos

© Imanol Zubizarreta

Architects: Fones Arquitectos
Location: Rilan, , Los Lagos Region, Chile
Architect In Charge: Nicolas Fones Claro
Area: 230 sqm
Year: 2011
Photographs: Imanol Zubizarreta

House Nº1 in Curacavi / Felipe Combeau + Pablo Alfaro

Courtesy of

Architects: Felipe Combeau ,
Location: Curacaví, Santiago Metropolitan Region, Chile
Architect In Charge: Felipe Combeau
Design Team: Felipe Combeau, Pablo Alfaro
Area: 202.0 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Courtesy of Felipe Combeau

Federico Varela High School/ Crisosto Arquitectos Consultores

© Pablo Blanco Barros

Architect: Crisosto Arquitectos Consultores
Location: , Atacama Region,
Consultants: Crisosto Arquitectos Consultores – Andrés Crisosto Smith y Andrés Crisosto Aguilera
Area: 6616.0 m2
Year: 2013
Photography: Pablo Blanco Barros

ARyS House / Peñafiel Arquitectos

© Pablo Casals-Aguirre

Architects: Peñafiel Arquitectos
Location: Aurelio González, Vitacura, Metropolitan Region, Chile
Architect In Charge: José Domingo Peñafiel
Area: 2660.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Pablo Casals-Aguirre

Deloitte Building / CFA-Cristián Fernandez Arquitectos

© Felipe Díaz

Architects: CFA-Cristián Fernandez Arquitectos
Location: Las Condes, Santiago Metropolitan Region,
Architect: Cristián Fernandez Eyzaguirre
Collaborators: Andrés Parker S., Adolfo Pinto A., Tamara Rodriguez P.
Project Area: 51393.0 m2
Project Year: 2012
Photography: Felipe Díaz, Pablo Blanco

Gago House / Pezo von Ellrichshausen

© Cristobal Palma / Estudio Palma

Architects: Pezo von Ellrichshausen
Location: , , Biobío Region, Chile
Architect In Charge: Mauricio Pezo, Sofia von Ellrichshausen
Area: 241.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Cristobal Palma / Estudio Palma

Tunquén House / Mas Fernandez Arquitectos

© Nico Saieh

Architect: Mas Fernandez Arquitectos
Location: Tunquen, , Valparaíso Region,
Architect In Charge: Cristóbal Fernández, Francisca Ruiz, Rodrigo O´ryan
Area: 120 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Nico Saieh

House at Rupanco Lake / Squella Arquitectos

© German Squella

Architects:
Location: Rupanco Lake, , Los Lagos Region, Chile
Architects In Charge: Jorge Squella, Sebastian Squella, German Squella
Area: 237.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: German Squella, Magdalena Squella