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María Francisca González & Nicolás Valencia

Projects Manager and Editorial & Data Manager


Santiago Metro Line 3 Captured by María González

© María González© María González© María González© María González+ 13

Rumor had it that behind the walls of historic subway station Cal y Canto in Santiago de Chile, a hidden ghost station would eventually link to Line 3—a planned route that was part of the original Metro master plan designed in the 60s. Its construction would have been shelved after the magnitude-7.8 1985 earthquake that forced public resources to be redirected for the reconstruction of the Chilean central valley.

34 years later, the Cal y Canto Metro station finally opened its connection with Line 3, the most recent addition to the rapid transit system, thus becoming the seventh line of Santiago after lines 1, 2, 4, 4A, 5, and 6.

A Guide to Santiago's Modern Architecture: 20 Projects You Need to Know About

The modern movement was a key player in the cultural construction of Chile in the 20th century. Although the first projects came from the private sector, their urban and landscape principles were adopted by the modernizing project of the welfare state that began to be built after the social conflicts that exploded in the 1920s.

During chile's industrialization process, the State's housing construction incorporated concepts such as liveability, and universal access to housing and sanitation, which were put to the test early on in the reconstruction of cities such as Chillán after the 1939 earthquake. As Chile is a country that is familiar with earthquakes, it was necessary to readjust the concepts of the modern movement to national structural requirements, that is, resizing the reinforced concrete sections, which gave them a heavier visual expression than in Brazil or Argentina.

From the daring vision of Sergio Larraín García-Moreno and Jorge Arteaga in the Oberpaur building - the first of the modern movement - to the urban visions of BVCH in the Villa Portales, or the first exercises in height in the upper middle class sectors, the modern movement has left its mark on our society and in our cities. However, only one of the projects presented here is declared a historical monument.

In this edition of the architectural guides, we present you twenty chronologically ordered projects that reflect the evolution of the modern movement in Santiago, Chile.

República Remodelling / Vicente Bruna + Germán Wijnant + Víctor Calvo + Jaime Perelman + Orlando Sepúlveda. Image © María GonzálezVilla Olímpica / Rodolfo Bravo + Jorge Poblete + Ricardo Carvallo + Pablo Hegedus, Julio Mardones + Gonzalo Mardones + Sergio González. Image © María GonzálezCEPAL / Emilio Duhart. Image © María GonzálezPortales Neighbourhood Unit / BVCH. Image © María González+ 19