Architecture and Activism: Santiago's Emerging Practice Grupo TOMA

08:00 - 30 September, 2015

The word activist, long part of the vocabulary of social causes and political engagements, is an identifier gaining currency in architecture. As an era of “star architects” fades to be replaced by a generation eager to tackle local issues for everyday citizens, the shift has become the calling card of Santiago-based Grupo TOMA. Produced by ArchDaily as part of our partnership with The Architectural Review, the above film profiles the group of five friends – Mathias Klenner, Ignacio Rivas, Ignacio Saavedra, Eduardo Pérez and Leandro Cappetto – who have become an architectural collective interested in “the architect as a mediator, as an entity capable of linking organizations, of connecting political and economic powers."

For the past two and a half years, the group has sought out projects that convert industrial spaces of past eras into new facilities. Working without intermediaries has been a boon to the group’s experimental attitude and productivity, which might otherwise be curtailed by bureaucratic setbacks. With projects spanning from a few days to a few months, and some potentially longer, the group privileges social impact and memory over duration and material certainty.

NAVE / Smiljan Radic

09:00 - 16 September, 2015
© Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh
  • Architect

  • Location

    Libertad 410, Santiago, Región Metropolitana, Chile
  • Collaborators

    Eduardo Castillo, Danilo Lazcano, Patricio Alvarado, Alejandro Luer
  • Structural Engineering

    BYB ingeniería Estructural Ltda.
  • Site Area

    1270 m2
  • Project Area

    2000.0 m2
  • Project Year

    2015
  • Photographs

© Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh +18

Ministry of Social Development Headqarters / Undurraga Devés Arquitectos

09:00 - 21 August, 2015
© Felipe Díaz Contardo
© Felipe Díaz Contardo

© Felipe Díaz Contardo © Felipe Díaz Contardo © Felipe Díaz Contardo © Felipe Díaz Contardo +12

ONEMI Building / Teodoro Fernández Arquitectos

11:00 - 17 August, 2015

  • Architects

  • Location

    Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan Region, Chile
  • Project Architects

    Teodoro Fernández Larrañaga, Sebastián Hernández Silva, Pablo Alfaro Vial, Danilo Lagos Serrano
  • Project Area

    5947.0 m2
  • Project Year

    2015
  • Photographs

© Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh +19

“Your Reflection” Selected as Winning Proposal of YAP_Constructo Chile

08:00 - 7 July, 2015
Courtesy of Guillermo Hevia García + Nicolás Urzúa
Courtesy of Guillermo Hevia García + Nicolás Urzúa

Chilean architects, Guillermo Hevia García and Nicolás Urzúa Soler, have been selected as the winners of the 2015 Young Architects Program (YAP) Constructo in Chile for their installation proposal, “Your Reflection." The installation will be inaugurated in March 2016 in Santiago, and aims “to build an uncertain experience, a situation of estrangement” so that the visitor is waiting to see “what is going to surprise them in the next place." 

Along with New York, Istanbul, Rome and Seoul, Yap Contructo (Chile) is one of five versions of the Young Architects Program (YAP), carried out by MoMA and MoMA PS1, which aims to “support research in innovative design and promote emerging talent.” 

Learn more about the proposal after the break. 

How Chile's Bahá'í Temple Uses High Technology to Create a Spiritual Space

09:30 - 29 June, 2015
© Bahá’í Temple of South America
© Bahá’í Temple of South America

Now nearing completion just outside SantiagoHariri Pontarini Architects' Bahá'í Temple of South America is currently one of the most significant religious construction projects in the world. In this article, originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "Sacred Structure," Guy Horton relates how - despite being in progress for almost a decade already - the design has changed remarkably little from the initial design sketch, using the latest technology to create a spiritual and emotional space.

For the last few years, in the Andean foothills just outside Santiago, Chile, a mysterious orb-like structure has been slowly rising under construction cranes. The new Bahá’i Temple of South America will be the first of its kind on the continent when it opens in 2016. It has been a historic journey for the Bahá’i faith in this part of the world—Bahá’i first arrived in Chile in 1919—and a patient journey for the architects, engineers, and builders who have brought the temple to life through a decade-long process of innovation.

The engineering firms were key to keeping the integrity of the architectural form. Even in the final stages, Gartner Steel and Glass came up with a new approach that eliminated the sub-frame, saving over $850,000. Image Courtesy of Guy Wenborne It's been over a decade since the architects of South America's first Baha'i Temple sketched out its design. “The shape never changed from what it was on the computer in 2003,” says Doron Meinhard, project manager and associate-in-charge of Hariri Pontarini Architects. Image Courtesy of Guy Wenborne © Bahá’í Temple of South America The interior surface of the nine “sails” (above) is marble, the exterior is cast glass developed by artist Jeff Goodman. He took great care, using lab-grade borosilicate to avoid any thermal stress. SGH then put the material through rigorous testing: subjecting it to freeze and thaw cycles, and submerging it fully in water. Then, because the 2,000 panels on each of the sails are all unique, the seismic load on every single one had to be tested. Image Courtesy of Justin Ford +8

Ismael 312 Apart Hotel / Estudio Larrain

13:00 - 20 June, 2015
© Cristobal Palma / Estudio Palma
© Cristobal Palma / Estudio Palma
  • Architects

  • Location

    Ismael Valdés Vergara 312, Santiago, Santiago, Región Metropolitana, Chile
  • Project Architects

    Rodrigo Larrain Galvez, Rodrigo Larrain Illanes
  • Project Area

    1502.0 m2
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

    Cristobal Palma / Estudio Palma, Courtesy of Estudio Larrain, Rodrigo Larrain Illanes

Courtesy of Estudio Larrain Courtesy of Estudio Larrain Courtesy of Estudio Larrain Courtesy of Estudio Larrain +20

Club Mate and Zambó Assaí Offices / República Portátil

11:00 - 9 June, 2015
© Gino Zavala Bianchi.
© Gino Zavala Bianchi.

© Gino Zavala Bianchi. © Gino Zavala Bianchi. © Gino Zavala Bianchi. © Gino Zavala Bianchi. +20

Autogasco Headquarters / Nicolás Maino Gaete

15:00 - 1 June, 2015
© Aryeh Kornfeld
© Aryeh Kornfeld

© Aryeh Kornfeld © Aryeh Kornfeld © Aryeh Kornfeld © Aryeh Kornfeld +38

Las Nieves Technical Vocational School / WRL Arquitectos

17:00 - 29 May, 2015
© Pablo Casals-Aguirre
© Pablo Casals-Aguirre
  • Architects

  • Location

    Avenida Concha Y Toro 2188, Puente Alto, Región Metropolitana de Santiago, Chile
  • Project Architects

    Francisco León Ross, Alicia Ross Amunategui, Tomás Weisser Mengdehl
  • Project Area

    5800.0 m2
  • Photographs

© Pablo Casals-Aguirre  © Pablo Casals-Aguirre  © Pablo Casals-Aguirre  © Pablo Casals-Aguirre  +36

Alto El Golf / Handel Architects

09:00 - 29 May, 2015
© Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

© Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh +10

El Coihue Building / Estudio Larrain

17:00 - 22 May, 2015
© Guy Wenborne
© Guy Wenborne
  • Architects

  • Location

    Alonso de Córdova 3827, Vitacura, Región Metropolitana de Santiago, Chile
  • Project Architects

    Rodrigo Larrain Galvez, Rodrigo Larrain Illanes
  • Project Area

    6266.0 m2
  • Project Year

    2014
  • Photographs

© Guy Wenborne © Guy Wenborne © Guy Wenborne © Guy Wenborne +13

New Downtown Santiago Inacap Campus / Estudio Larrain

14:00 - 30 April, 2015
© Rodrigo Larraín Illanes
© Rodrigo Larraín Illanes

© Guy Wenborne © Guy Wenborne © Rodrigo Larraín Illanes © Rodrigo Larraín Illanes +18

Boulevard Ñuñoa Square / PLAN Arquitectos

18:00 - 17 April, 2015
© Pablo Blanco
© Pablo Blanco

© Pablo Blanco © Pablo Blanco © Pablo Blanco © Pablo Blanco +18

SH House / 01ARQ

10:00 - 9 March, 2015
© Aryeh Kornfeld
© Aryeh Kornfeld

© Aryeh Kornfeld © Aryeh Kornfeld © Aryeh Kornfeld © Aryeh Kornfeld +24

Architects of Invention and Archiplan Propose "Origami Highline" for Santiago

01:00 - 6 February, 2015
Courtesy of Architects of Invention
Courtesy of Architects of Invention

Chilean architects Archiplan and international office Architects of Invention have unveiled their concept design for a new public plaza in Santiago. Prepared as a competition entry, the proposal is a tribute to the late Chilean architect Fernando Castillo Velasco, sited in front of his iconic Tajamar Towers.

Entitled "Origami Highline," the project draws inspiration from the ancient Japanese paper folding craft of origami and takes the form of a sculptural intervention in Balmaceda Park.

Courtesy of Architects of Invention Courtesy of Architects of Invention Courtesy of Architects of Invention Courtesy of Architects of Invention +26

In Progress: Bahá’í Temple of South America / Hariri Pontarini Architects

01:00 - 27 January, 2015
Courtesy of Bahá’í Temple of South America
Courtesy of Bahá’í Temple of South America
  • Architects

  • Architect in Charge

    Siamak Hariri - Hariri Pontarini Architects
  • Local Architect

    BL Arquitectos
  • Client

    National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Chile, National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Canada
  • General Contractor

    Desarrollo y Construcción del Templo Bahá'í para Sudamérica Ltda.
  • Area

    1200.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2016
  • Photographs

    Courtesy of Bahá’í Temple of South America

Nearly four years after the start of its construction, South America’s first Bahá’í temple is beginning to take shape. Designed by Canadian firm Hariri Pontarini Architects, the temple is being constructed at the foothills of the Andes in Santiago, Chile. The building is comprised of “nine translucent wings, rising directly from the ground, and giving the impression of floating over a large reflecting water pool,” describes the project’s website. Each wing is designed like a leaf, with a steel “main stem” and “secondary veins of steel” supporting its cast glass exterior. During the day, the cast glass will filter sunlight into the temple, while at night the temple’s interior lighting will produce a soft glow on the outside.

The structure’s steel columns are now fully self-supported on its concrete foundation, and the steel frames and interior marble panels of each of the nine wings have been completed. In October, the project reached an important milestone as the installation of the cast glass cladding began on the outside of the wings. 

Courtesy of Bahá’í Temple of South America Courtesy of Bahá’í Temple of South America Courtesy of Bahá’í Temple of South America Courtesy of Bahá’í Temple of South America +41

Carol Urzua / Lira Arquitectos Asociados

01:00 - 2 January, 2015
© Pedro Mutis
© Pedro Mutis

© Pedro Mutis   © Pedro Mutis   © Pedro Mutis   © Pedro Mutis   +28