The only Chilean architects selected by Rem Koolhaas to participate in the Collateral Event “Time Space Existence” at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale were Ortuzar & Gebauer and Simonetti & Stewart. The architecture firms teamed up to showcase two singular projects – a hotel on stilts and an open plan office building – that mark the beginning of renewal in different neighborhoods. The exhibition, which runs until 23 November 2014, looks at how architects influence our daily existence through our understanding of time and space. To learn more about the Chilean team’s contribution to the event, keep reading after the break.
Ortuzar and Gebauer’s Palafito del Mar Hotel, located in Castro, Chiloe, is a fresh take on the traditional stilt houses the area is known for. The boutique hotel is a collage of five rooms whose forms, colors, and textures respond to the surrounding environment. A linear skylight connects these spaces and leads to a welcoming public room overlooking the Castro sea front. The project, which demonstrates the importance of recognizing and celebrating characteristic elements of neighborhoods, was showcased alongside other palafito projects also designed by the firm.
Simionetti and Stewart’s Costanera Lyon II in Providencia, Santiago marks the beginning of the area's urban renewal through its completion of the Plaza del Sol, an interior passageway that originated in 1978. The rigid reinforced concrete structure, which consists of 12m diagonals running from the third floor to a 70cm thick slab in the basement, allows vertical and seismic loads to run through the facade to the foundations – leaving the plan completely open. The concrete structure also acts as a thermal mass, reducing reliance on heating and air conditioning and therefore energy consumption.
Architecture students at the Universidad del Desarrollo competed to design the Chilean architects’ display for the exhibition. The winning team came up with an interlocking system of panels fashioned out of 132 uniform MDF tiles, each one etched with relevant information about the two projects. A screen located at the center of the v-shaped display continuously plays two short videos about the projects, which can be seen above. The entire installation was packed and sent from Chile to Italy in two boxes, which were then reused as pedestals for the two models – one of the Palafito del Mar Hotel and the other of the Costanera Lyon II.