- Collaborator: Pamela Jarpa Rosa
- Client: Municipalidad de Salamanca
- Ground Surface: 1280 m2
- Materials: Estructura principal H.A., Paneles H.A. prefabricado, Vidrio Par, Raulí, Coigüe
- Construction: Constructora INCOBAL
- Structures: SyS. Mauricio Sarrazin A.
- Electrical: ICG S.A.
- Plumbing: Roberto Pavéz
- Technical Requirements: Equipo SECPLAN Salamanca
- Architects: Mario Carreño Zunino, Piera Sartori del Campo
- City: Coquimbo
- Country: Chile
Text description provided by the architects. The city of Salamanca is located in an inland agricultural valley at the beginning of the Choapa River basin. A vertical and arid hillside landscape defines a long stretch of crops. This project opens a new height for the city of low construction. This height does not have the proportion of a tower, which is understood from the outside; it is five stories that we have understood as an interior with respect to the valley.
The site is adjacent to the Main Square. The first instinct has been to think of the building as part of an urban ensemble in public land, related to the distant and the immediate public spaces.
The building is designed with an extended circulation, that goes from the sidewalk to a terrace on the top floor, through an interior void open to the landscape, which brings together the various municipal services.
Two independent structures are distanced from each other and have a height difference of half a floor. In the interior distance between them and connecting the floor levels of both, we insert a system of ramps complemented by two sets of stairs, one at each end, which serve as shortcuts for work teams and the public.
This space hosts a large number of people daily, hence converging programmatic complexity, consolidating the public nature of the building at the meeting point that the interior circulation proposes for a tight-knit community, in a city of no more than twelve thousand inhabitants. All the free plan levels open towards this space, the public is received here in a friendly manner, and the distant landscape can be appreciated.
The physical attributes of this interior are activated for ventilation by convection – taking in air from an underground courtyard and releasing it from above – and for natural lighting through a skylight at the top of the circulation and through a glazed wall facing north. An eave 6 meters wide regulates light in winter and summer, in the geometric relationship with the solar path.
In this upward circulation, from the urban floor to the fourth floor, the progression is from the programs that receive most public and that are more open to the community, to those with greater privacy and independence.
On each floor, the departments are distributed in the direction perpendicular to the length of the building. From the ramp landings, with views overlooking the square, one goes through a series of layers to get to the interior offices, with views of the river and the northern slope of the valley.
In terms of construction, the remoteness of the site makes access difficult to certain technologies essential for a building of this size and complexity. The building is designed as a series of parts that are mounted onto two main structures, composed of rigid frames and walls made on site that operate jointly. The elements brought to the site, apart from the typical industrial parts, range from ramps and stairs with sliding joints, through all-glass panels and wood ceiling pieces, to the prefabricated concrete slabs that form the perimeter of the building. The latter were mounted in 25 days and have flexible metallic connections.