Text description provided by the architects. The project involved the rehabilitation of a former boarding school built in the late nineteenth century, in the area of Cerro Alegre in Valparaíso. In a slope and with access to two pedestrian streets, the building is located above the Dimalow promenade overlooking it with its main facade while releasing a backyard towards the Caracoles passage. The property built in masonry and wood, was originally a compact building of two floors, facing north and south while being attached to other buildings on both sides to the east and west.
The condition of the building was good except for some specific places (facade to the south) that were affected by moisture and termites. The entire house had suffered numerous interventions due to its successive uses (housing, boarding school, home for women). The intentions of the project were to accommodate the building for its new purpose while recovering its original character, to improve the living conditions of the property and to improve the relationship of the building with the environment by strengthening the public space. All interventions and changes such as non-original interior subdivisions of the house were removed, leaving only the original structure of floors and walls. A courtyard was opened in the center of the original volume providing light and ventilation to all areas. A new underground level was built accommodating the warehouses, cold storage rooms, technical facilities and rooms for the staff so the rest of the building can be used completely for its main purpose.
In order to form a continuous facade, an urban characteristic of patrimonial neighborhood, the service yard was transformed into a new facade. Dimalow and Caracoles passages are now connected through an axis linking both entrances. The program considered the implementation of a bar-restaurant, exhibition hall, game room, meeting room, conference room, radio and local design store.