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

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.

Renovation of the Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art / Smiljan Radic. Image Courtesy of The Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art Diagrams of the plan for the renovation of the Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art / Smiljan Radic. Image Courtesy of Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino's Facebook Page Renovation of the Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art, in progress. Image Courtesy of Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino's Facebook Page Renovation of the Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art / Smiljan Radic. Image © Nico Saieh

School of Design and Institute of Urban Studies / Sebastián Irarrázaval

  • 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

© Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh

ELEMENTAL Proposes Pedestrian Path To Connect Districts of Santiago

ELEMENTAL has given us details on a proposed 14.5 km pedestrian and bike path within Santiago, 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.

Courtesy of ELEMENTAL Courtesy of ELEMENTAL Courtesy of ELEMENTAL © Guy Wenborne. Image Courtesy of ELEMENTAL

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

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

Courtesy of Sebastián Larroulet, Arturo López, Francisco Vergara Courtesy of Sebastián Larroulet, Arturo López, Francisco Vergara Courtesy of Sebastián Larroulet, Arturo López, Francisco Vergara © Cristian Brahona

Echeñique House / Fones Arquitectos

  • Architects: Fones Arquitectos
  • Location: Echenique, La Reina, Santiago Metropolitan Region, Chile
  • Architect in Charge: Nicolas Fones Claro
  • Area: 360.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Antonio Aros

© Antonio Aros © Antonio Aros © Antonio Aros © Antonio Aros

Synthon Laboratory Building / GH+A | Guillermo Hevia

© Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh

Ambient 30 60 - YAP CONSTRUCTO 2014 / UMWELT

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

© Cristobal Palma / Estudio Palma © Cristobal Palma / Estudio Palma © Cristobal Palma / Estudio Palma © Cristobal Palma / Estudio Palma

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

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

© Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh

ARyS House / Peñafiel Arquitectos

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

© Pablo Casals-Aguirre © Pablo Casals-Aguirre © Pablo Casals-Aguirre © Pablo Casals-Aguirre

Deloitte Building / CFA-Cristián Fernandez Arquitectos

  • Architects: CFA-Cristián Fernandez Arquitectos
  • Location: Rosario Norte 331-459, Las Condes, Región Metropolitana, Chile
  • 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

© Pablo Blanco © Pablo Blanco © Pablo Blanco © Felipe Díaz

Peñalolen Velodrome / Iglesis Prat Arquitectos

  • Architects: Iglesis Prat Arquitectos
  • Location: Parque Peñalolén - Avenida José Arrieta 7659, Peñalolén, Santiago Metropolitan Region, Chile
  • Project Architect: Jorge Iglesis
  • Project Area: 9851.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photography: Diego Elgueta, Juan Francisco Vargas Malebrán

© Juan Francisco Vargas Malebrán © Juan Francisco Vargas Malebrán © Diego Elgueta © Diego Elgueta

Space FA / Sebastián Yrarrázabal + Veronica Arcos + Andrea Von Chrismar

© Aryeh Kornfeld © Aryeh Kornfeld © Aryeh Kornfeld © Aryeh Kornfeld

Santo Tomas Professional Institute - First Stage / Browne Swett Arquitectos

  • Architects: Browne Swett Arquitectos
  • Location: Vicuña Mackenna 4835, San Joaquín, Santiago Metropolitan Region, Chile
  • Architect in Charge: Enrique Browne, Tomás Swett
  • Design Team: Felipe Combeau, Tadea de Ipiña, Olimpia Lira, Cristóbal Teixido, Gonzalo De la Parra, Josefina del Río , Carolina Rocco.
  • Area: 8107.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Nico Saieh, Enrique Browne

© Nico Saieh © Enrique Browne © Nico Saieh © Enrique Browne

Multicarpet Rollux Showroom / +arquitectos

  • +Arquitectos: +arquitectos
  • Location: Presidente Kennedy 7400, Vitacura, Santiago Metropolitan Region, Chile
  • Project Architects: + arquitectos – Brahm-Bonomi-Leturia-Bartolomé
  • Team: Javiera González, Ximena Cerpa, María José Varas, Felipe de la Jara, Natalia Figueroa, Diego Parra
  • Project Area: 670.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photography: Aryeh Kornfeld

© Aryeh Kornfeld © Aryeh Kornfeld © Aryeh Kornfeld © Aryeh Kornfeld

Smiljan Radic Wins Competition to Design Landmark for Santiago

Smiljan Radic has been announced as the winner of the competition to design a landmark on San Cristobal Hill, in the heart of Santiago, Chile, that consolidates the hill's numerous antennas into a single infrastructure.

According to the Contest Director, Luis Eduardo L. Bresciani, the purpose of this competition was to generate an innovative structure of iconic character, an architectural work of outstanding quality that would differ from other towers in other cities and give an identity not just to the hill, but to the city of Santiago. The jury also took into account the landscape of the site, particularly the care with which the park would be treated, as well as the tower's relationship with the statue of the Virgin and the hilltop in general. Finally, the functionality of the infrastructure, which should act as both a telecommunications tower as well as a public space with panoramic views, was considered. See the six shortlisted proposals, after the break.

Mención Honrosa: Soza_Atanacio + Aguirre_Castro Arquitectos. Image  Mención Honrosa: GmasP + Saez Joannon Arquitectos. Image Courtesy of Minvu Tercer Lugar: Architects of Invention. Image  Segundo Lugar: Tomás Folch y equipo. Image

Inacap Downtown Campus / Estudio Larrain

  • Architects: Estudio Larrain
  • Location: Almirante Barroso 76, Santiago, Región Metropolitana, Chile
  • Architect in Charge: Rodrigo Larrain Galvez, Rodrigo Larrain Illanes
  • Area: 19670.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Rodrigo Larrain Illanes, Guy Wenborne

© Guy Wenborne © Guy Wenborne © Rodrigo Larrain Illanes © Rodrigo Larrain Illanes

Andronico Luksic Mining Center / Enrique Browne y Arquitectos Asociados

  • Architects: Enrique Browne y Arquitectos Asociados
  • Location: Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile - Avendia Vicuna Mackenna 4860, Macul, Santiago Metropolitan Region, Chile
  • Architect in Charge: Enrique Browne
  • Associated Architects: Tomás Swett, Josefina del Río, Cristobal Teixidó
  • Colaborating Architects: Paulina Fernández, Jorge Silva, Enrique Browne C, Verónica López.
  • Site Area: 3723 sqm
  • Area: 2650.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Nico Saieh, Enrique Browne

© Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh

Renovation of the Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art / Smiljan Radic

  • Architects: Smiljan Radic
  • Location: Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino - Bandera 361, Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan Region, Chile
  • Architect in Charge: Smiljan Radic
  • Project Area: 1300.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Nico Saieh, Cortesia de SUMO Museografía

© Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh Courtesy of SUMO Museografía