Collaborators: Philip Zurman
Structural Engineering: Patricio Bertholet
Civil And Plumbing Engineering: Fernando Montoya
Electrical Engineering: Ramón Prado
Text description provided by the architects. Arauco is a forestry company that called us in 2009 to develop a plan to support their workers in the process to have access to their definitive house. We were asked to develop a set of typologies within the current housing policy for Fondo Solidario de Vivienda I (FSV I, units up to 600 UF or US$25,000 without debt) and for FSV II (units up to 1,000 UF or US$40,000 with a bank loan). These designs would be a contribution of the company to their workers, a kind of subvention, so that housing committees could use them when applying for the regular system of public funds.
The importance of this project is that on the one hand, for the first time, it allowed us to think about a design for the upper niche of the housing policy. If we developed an innovative and competitive typology, we would broaden our possible contribution to social housing. We could have taken one of our own more economic typologies and used the extra money to finish them, filling the void that families were expected to complete. But we thought of once again applying the principle of incremental construction and prioritization of the more complex components, this time with higher standards both for the initial and the final scenario.
These innovations were possible because of the direct funding of Arauco, but also because the volume of the potential demand was big enough to absorb the costs of such research. The plan estimated a total of 9,000 units in thirty different towns.
Finally, one of the most relevant points was that most of the projects were intended for towns and villages of between 10,000 and 20,000 people. In places of such scale, housing projects, for good or for bad, do have a major impact. And it is in exactly these types of towns where the worst urban standard is found, so any contribution in this niche is more than welcome.