Felipe Díaz Contardo

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Why Should We Invest in Mitigation Instead of Reconstruction? Chile's Resiliency is a Good Example

Chile is a country used to natural disasters as much as to the reconstruction process. However, the frequency of these cycles has increased over the years. According to the Ministry of Interior (Homeland), 43% of all natural disasters recorded in Chile since 1960 happened between 2014 and 2017. In fact, the government is already involved in several reconstruction processes across the country.

Designed by Teodoro Fernández Arquitectos, Kaukari Urban Park turned the channel of the Copiapó River into an accessible urban green space, capable of controling potential floods, just as it happened in 2015. Image © Rodrigo OpazoDesigned by Sebastian Irarrázaval, the Constitución Public Library was part of a public-private initiative taken to rebuild the city of Constitución after 2010 Chile earthquake. Image © Felipe Díaz ContardoDesigned by PLAN Arquitectos, Constitución's Consistorial Town Hall was part of the reconstruction of the city after 2010 Chile earthquake. Image © Pablo BlancoVilla Verde Housing / ELEMENTAL. Image © Suyin Chia+ 7

Spotlight: Alejandro Aravena

Innovation Center UC - Anacleto Angelini. Image © Nico Saieh
Innovation Center UC - Anacleto Angelini. Image © Nico Saieh

As founder of the “Do Tank” firm ELEMENTAL, Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena (born on June 22, 1967) is perhaps the most socially-engaged architect to receive the Pritzker Prize. Far from the usual aesthetically driven approach, Aravena explains that “We don’t think of ourselves as artists. Architects like to build things that are unique. But if something is unique it can’t be repeated, so in terms of it serving many people in many places, the value is close to zero.” [1] For Aravena, the architect’s primary goal is to improve people's way of life by assessing both social needs and human desires, as well as political, economic and environmental issues.

Cultural Centers: 50 Examples in Plan and Section

How many times have you been faced with the challenge of designing a cultural center? While this may seem like quite a feat, many architects have had to design a program that blends a community center with culture.

Among the projects published on our site, we have found numerous examples that highlight different responses, from flexible configurations to sites that prioritize central gathering areas for citizens and activities. See our series of 50 community centers and their plans and sections below.

UC Casa Central's Student Cafeteria / OMN Arquitectos

© Felipe Díaz Contardo© Felipe Díaz Contardo© Felipe Díaz Contardo© Felipe Díaz Contardo+ 30

Santiago, Chile
  • Architects: OMN Arquitectos
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  900
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2012
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: Atrio, Cintac®, Creizet, Duomo, METRALUM, +1

Kitchens that Double As Dining Rooms: Architectural Design Inspiration

Proven to be tied to the areas of the brain responsible for emotion and memory, smells are more tied to a perception of place than any other human sense. And there are few sensations more powerful than the smell of delicious food wafting in from your own kitchen. In that regard, kitchens are the true heart of the home, the space most closely related to joyfulness, childhood, and family.

Here, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite kitchens that also double as dining rooms – spaces where you can bake your cake and eat it too. Each different in material and arrangement, these kitchens all share one thing in common: We can’t seem to shake them from our memory. Check out the list below!

© Hannes Henz© Tess Kelly© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG© Paul McCredie+ 18

Passalacqua Lahsen House / GITC arquitectura

© Felipe Díaz Contardo© Felipe Díaz Contardo© Felipe Díaz Contardo© Felipe Díaz Contardo+ 12

Colina, Chile
  • Architects: GITC arquitectura
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  254
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2014
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: CUBIERTAS NACIONALES, FORESTAL ACZA., Glasstech, Tecnopanel

The 10 Best Global* Architecture Projects of 2016 (*Asia, Africa and South America Not Excluded)

As the common phrase attests, “history is written by the victors.” We therefore know that the story of the West is that of Europe and the United States, while the other actors in world history are minimized or invisible: it happened to the Chinese and Japanese during World War II, to the Ottoman Empire in sixteenth-century Europe, and to racial majorities in the common reading of Latin American independence. The same thing happens in architecture.

The current boom of the Global South is based not only on new work, but rather on the recognition of an invisible architecture which was apparently not worthy of publication in the journals of the 1990s. The world stage has changed, with the emergence of a humanity that is decentralized yet local; globalized, yet heterogeneous; accelerated, yet unbalanced. There are no longer red and blue countries, but a wide variety of colors, exploding like a Pollock painting.

This serves as a preamble to consider the outstanding projects of 2016 according to the British critic Oliver Wainwright, whose map of the world appears to extend from New York in the West to Oslo in the East, with the exception of Birzeit in Palestine. The Global South represents more than 40% of the global economy and already includes most of the world’s megacities, yet has no architecture worthy of recognition? We wanted to highlight the following projects in order to expand the western-centric world view, enabling us to truly comprehend the extent of architectural innovation on a global scale.

2Y House / Sebastián Irarrázaval

© Felipe Díaz Contardo© Felipe Díaz Contardo© Felipe Díaz Contardo© Felipe Díaz Contardo+ 49

Colico, Chile
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  350
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2013
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: Ecopinturas

Casino and Hotel Ovalle / Turner Arquitectos

© Felipe Díaz Contardo© Felipe Díaz Contardo© Felipe Díaz Contardo© Felipe Díaz Contardo+ 27

Ovalle, Chile
  • Architects: Turner Arquitectos
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  14020
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2016
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: CG Chile, CHC, Concret Doctor, Salomon Olivares

Family Park / Boza Arquitectos

© Felipe Díaz Contardo © Felipe Díaz Contardo © Felipe Díaz Contardo Cortesía de Cristian Boza Wilson + 36

Quinta Normal, Chile
  • Architects: Boza Arquitectos
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2015
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: Fahneu, Rubber, Travieso Golf

Rosales Quijada House / GITC arquitectura

© Felipe Díaz Contardo© Felipe Díaz Contardo© Felipe Díaz Contardo© Felipe Díaz Contardo+ 16

Chicureo, Chile
  • Architects: GITC arquitectura
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  4800
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2010
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: ACZA , AIMTEC, Atika, CHAMIZA/PRODEMA, Carlos Herrera , +4

Constitución Public Library / Sebastian Irarrázaval

© Felipe Díaz Contardo© Felipe Díaz Contardo© Felipe Díaz Contardo© Felipe Díaz Contardo+ 35

Constitución, Chile
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  350
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2015
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: Arauco, CHC

Constitución Cultural Center / Alejandro Aravena | ELEMENTAL

© Felipe Diaz Contardo © Felipe Diaz Contardo © Felipe Diaz Contardo © Felipe Diaz Contardo + 11

Constitución, Chile
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  829
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2015
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: Arauco

AD Round-Up: The Best of Contemporary Chilean Architecture

Chilean architecture, having long stood in the shadow of more established design traditions in Europe and North America, has been catapulted to the forefront of global attention with the news that architect Alejandro Aravena has been named the 41st Pritzker Prize Laureate – the first Chilean to receive the award. He is also the director of this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale, which focuses on the role of architects in improving the living conditions of people across the globe, especially in cases where scarce resources and the “inertia of reality” stand in the way of progress.

2016 Pritzker Prize Winner Alejandro Aravena's Work in 15 Images

Alejandro Aravena is the first Chilean architect to ever receive a Pritzker Prize. Praised for reviving the socially engaged architect, the 48-year-old architect and executive director of ELEMENTAL has proved architecture's ability to solve pressing global issues through his diverse portfolio. Read on to see 15 projects that exemplify Aravena's contribution to architecture so far.

Physics Department Building / Marsino Arquitectura

© Felipe Díaz Contardo © Felipe Díaz Contardo © Felipe Díaz Contardo © Felipe Díaz Contardo + 32

  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2013
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: EFCO, Sherwin-Williams, Arauco, Arq Studio, CAP, +10

Barn House at Lake Ranco / Estudio Valdés Arquitectos

© Felipe Díaz Contardo © Felipe Díaz Contardo © Felipe Díaz Contardo © Felipe Díaz Contardo + 21

  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  192
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2015
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: Nuprotec

El Maqui House / GITC arquitectura

© Felipe Díaz Contardo© Felipe Díaz Contardo© Felipe Díaz Contardo© Felipe Díaz Contardo+ 23

Olmué, Chile
  • Architects: GITC arquitectura
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  253 Area:  253
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2014 Year:  2014