LocationSantiago, Santiago Metropolitan Region, Chile
Architects in chargeRodrigo Cáceres Moena, Alejandro Vargas Peyreblanque, Alvaro Gonzalez Bastías.
Underground surface15.360 m2
Text description provided by the architects. The location was originally the place where judicial authorities parked their cars on surface, denying and undermining its public use and the urban presence not only of Courts Building but another heritage building protagonist of this place: The former National Congress.
The Project radically changed this situation, proposing a five levels underground parking building that not only dramatically increased the parking capacity available for judges and general public, but cleaned vehicles from surface.
This first operation allowed a redesign of the upper plaza, creating a Nationwide Civic Square, sorrounded by heritage buildings, a place that not only kept its historical icons like Montt Varas monument, but allowed a new space perception where all heritage facades can be admired at once.
Fundamental premise for designing this Project was to value the square´s edges and facades, so that contemplation of heritage surrounding facades become the site spirit.
In order to achieve this, horizontal simplicity design decisions where made, with subtle changes of stone pavements that demarcates important areas but didn´t compete with the existing architecture. A unified design for the vacuum arises, which unifies the space and turn it into a quiet pause whithin the vortex of walking through the center of Santiago, a pause that allows the contemplation of heritage buildings.
The square design was structured around a central pools axis that recognises and rank the only vertical element of the site: the Montt Varas monument, which is located in Front of former National Congress Front door. The entrances to underground parking levels área treated by adding vegetal elements that hide and make them part of an image that combines with gardens facing de Courthouse. Another “vegetal gesture” is designed in Front of Former National Congress gardens, in order to extends its influence beyond its limits.