Minga Valpo: Architects and Sustainable Reconstruction in Valparaíso, Chile

Courtesy of Minga Valpo

After the fire this past April in Valparaíso, Chile, a group of young architects went to the port city to develop a reconstruction project based on energy efficiency, recycled materials, and adaptability to Valparaíso's topographic context. The Minga Valpo project has not only achieved these objectives, but it has also allowed families to help build their own houses. In a mere three months, Minga Valpo has already built three houses.

Take a look at photographs of the project and read the architects' description after the break. 

Minga Valpo: Architects and Sustainable Reconstruction in Valparaíso, Chile - More Images+ 24

From the Architect. The Minga Valpo project came about due the fire which occurred in Valparaiso last April 12, 2014 and completely burned down the homes of more than 3000 families. 

Courtesy of Minga Valpo

United by a common vision, a team of young architects, volunteers and families set out to offer sustainable solutions to people living in the affected areas. Paying careful attention to each location, its topography and orientation, the group has made progress in building thermal efficient homes with the use of local and recycled materials.

Courtesy of Minga Valpo

The construction of the houses has taken place through workshops with volunteer labor (without previous experience in construction) and is being led by a team of professional volunteers. 

Courtesy of Minga Valpo

Knowing how to build our own living spaces has always been a part of the human condition. The concept of the Minga is therefore to provide the necessary tools to reconnect with this ancient tradition. 

Courtesy of Minga Valpo

The building technique favors the use of natural and recycled materials, conserves solar energy and allows for easy replication. 

Courtesy of Minga Valpo

The proposed model is based on a backbone of rough pine 2"x6" pallets as walls. The wooden pallets are filled with straw that serves as thermal insulation and are coated with a mix of mud and straw which acts as thermal mass. Once the scratch coat is dry a fine plaster of lime is applied to make the wall waterproof while still allowing the clay to breathe -- one of the intrinsic properties of building with mud. 

Courtesy of Minga Valpo

Several experts in bioconstruction have also been a part in the experience, such as master Gonzalo Vargas who performed a special workshop of fine lime mud plaster. 

Courtesy of Minga Valpo

Three months after the fire struck, Minga Valpo has built three houses, a place of encounter and an ecological bathroom module. 

Courtesy of Minga Valpo

The work has been fueled by the affection of the people involved and the families that offered material donations. The project has become an amazing experience of architecture and unity of the people under a common goal ... to build sustainably. 

Thanks to all who participated!
Thanks to this wonderful spirit!



Architects: Carolina Moraes, Cristobal Hughes, Camilo Moraes, Anita Oyarzun, Constanza Cabezas, Sergio Levet, Barbara Inostroza,Barbara Isler, Macarena Cima, Rodolfo Rubio, José Murillo, Rohan Sutherland, Gerardo Coli, Estaban Moraga, Jano Ponce y Romain Ferrini.
Engineer: Ricardo Luna
Location: Cerro Merced, Cerro Mariposa y Cerro Las Cañas. Valparaíso
Materials: Wood, Pallets, bale of straw, mud, bottles, cans, glass and zinc plates.
Area: Casa Beto 30 m2, Casa Abuelita 36 m2, Casa Edgardo 20 m2.
Year: 2014
Photographs: Camilo Moraes, Sergio Levet y Felix Po

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About this author
Cite: Franco, José Tomás. "Minga Valpo: Architects and Sustainable Reconstruction in Valparaíso, Chile" [Minga Valpo: arquitectos y la reconstrucción sustentable de Valparaíso] 02 Sep 2014. ArchDaily. (Trans. Quintal, Becky) Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/542948/minga-valpo-architects-and-sustainable-reconstruction-in-valparaiso-chile> ISSN 0719-8884

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