Architects: Alejandro Aravena | ELEMENTAL
Location: Vicuña Mackenna 4860, Macul, Santiago Metropolitan Region, Chile
Project Team: Alejandro Aravena, Juan Cerda
Collaborators: Samuel Gonçalves, Cristián Irarrázaval, Álvaro Ascoz, Natalie Ramirez, Christian Lavista, Suyin Chia, Pedro Hoffmann
Area: 8176.0 sqm
Photographs: Nico Saieh, ELEMENTAL | Nina Vidic
Chile is recognized internationally for the quality of its architecture, even though its most lauded projects are not often found in urban areas. At a time when the true potential of Chilean architecture seems absent from the South American country’s cities, Alejandro Aravena | ELEMENTAL has designed a conceptually – and physically – dense project in Santiago.
In this ArchDaily exclusive video, ELEMENTAL‘s director Alejandro Aravena explains the concepts that shaped the form and delineated the design process of the Pontifical Catholic University’s Innovation Center UC – Anacelto Angelini. Instead of using materials that are usually associated with technology and innovation, such as glass and steel, Aravena uses concrete and its hermetic, weighty properties to imbue the center with an air of timelessness and transcendence.
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.
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.
Architect: Sebastián Irarrázaval
Location: Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile – Monsenor Carlos Casanueva, Providencia, Santiago Metropolitan Region, Chile
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