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WELCOME !

CONTENT

What is GAP?

Who are we?

GAP (Global Architecture Profiling) is a student run organisation at the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning at the The University of Melbourne. It profiles the work of contemporary designers from a different city around the world by coordinating an annual exhibition in Melbourne to generate exposure to the global design community and cultivate crosscultural ideas.

Blair Gardiner

In 2011 the GAP exhibition focuses on Santiago de Chile, a city with a vibrant and unique contemporary design culture. The works exhibited from Santiago and its surrounds demonstrate a range of design approaches, interconnected by common themes. The works on display reflect an intimate connection to the landscape and exhibit design ideas developed through materiality, and engaged with questions related to social, cultural and environmental responsibility. These works demonstrate the value of design, as well as the richness of ideas and thoughtful approaches that designers contribute to the global community.

Ale Cordova Amelyn Ng Cocha Wai Daniel Sykes Elinor Moshe Ilari Lehtonen John Gatip Kim Low Maya Ho-mei Wong Nudcha Chayapumh Sebastien Gey Shervin Jaberzadeh Tess Williamson

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WELCOME 02 CHILEAN ARCHITECTURE 04 57 STUDIO ALEJANDRO ARAVENA CAZÚ ZEGERS GONZALO MARDONES GRUPO TALCA INFINISKI LAND ARQUITECTOS MARCELO CORTÉS MATHIAS KLOTZ MOURE RIVERA

06 10 12 16 18 21 24 28 30 34

GAP welcomes you to the exhibition. Exhibition: 17 - 28 October, 2011 in the Atrium Space, Architecture Building, The University of Melbourne.

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PARTICIPATING ARCHITECTS 38 THANK YOU 39

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CHILEANARCHITECTURE A DOSIS OF FRESH AIR - by Jeannette Plaut & Marcelo Sarovic Since the nineties, concurrent with a process of national democratization, Chilean architecture has experienced a sustained period of expansion and international consolidation. This growth has been driven by the appearance of outstanding projects in international publications and biennials, the participation of local architects in seminars around the world and the strengthening of university exchange networks, as well as diverse international awards and recognition bestowed on Chilean architects. All of these factors have opened Chilean architecture to the world. The origin of this “success” probably dates back several decades to the modernity of the 1950s and 1960s. It seems more appropriate to speak of an “awakening” of Chilean architecture than a new invention. Another contributing factor is the sustained development over the last 10 years of masters and doctorate programs in architecture in Chile, which have attracted a growing critical mass. The exposition “Tall Buildings” at the MoMA in 2004, curated by Terence Riley and Guy Nordenson, marked a milestone by including the Manantiales building, after not having exhibited Chilean projects since the show “Latin American Architecture since 1945” in 1954. Countless publications also began to include Chilean architects in their editorial approaches. Although likely one of the shortest buildings among those exhibited, Manantiales stands out because it abandons the classic structural “system” for a structural criterion that can be used as an architectural resource. Over the last two decades, Chile has been a witness to and protagonist of sustained economic growth that has undoubtedly strengthened its architecture. Furthermore,

beyond its privileged location between the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, combining mountains, oceans, glaciers and desert, Chile has discovered a new geographic diversity unique to each point where a specific territory interacts with its culture, unveiling a new fabric that is also related to the condition of border versus interior. Architecture, immersed in such unique conditions, is presented as an experimental field thanks to the use of knowledge regarding construction, technological, climate and local materiality conditions. This plus the emergence of other new variables allows each work to become a new point of reference within its surroundings, combining cultural, conceptual and strategic approaches. Geographic conditions have also been determining factors by suggesting a particular relationship with the landscape by where works construct the own boundaries of their landscapes. This phenomenon has even occurred in urban contexts, but it remains within the work itself with little capacity to influence the conception and construction of public spaces, revealing one of the discipline’s obvious shortfalls. This factor is certainly more evident in rural or natural settings, where the basic operation is the juxtaposition of the work in the landscape to make it appear, give it meaning or build it. To accomplish this, architects have relied on basic shapes and an estrangement from the soil. Another condition particular to Chilean geography is its seismic condition, reverberated in architectural culture through research and exploration of the relationship between architecture and engineering, the peculiarities of structural problems and the structure itself as a design tool and solution. The habitable condition of architecture has retaken a leading role in the conception of design, not only in the more functionalist sense that drove the notion of habitability in the twentieth century, but more abstractly as the

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origin of topological decisions in configuring the work, and in a more tangible way by incorporating corporal and perceptual situations through details. The local material culture has been very prevalent in contemporary Chilean architecture, fundamentally as a link between the work and the project site as well as between the work and the geography, although in a different way. In Chile we see the unique phenomenon of multiple architects doing exceptional work in contrast to other countries with one emblematic figure or maestro and his disciples and followers; Chile boasts a collective setting where many architects from different generations and backgrounds provide body and depth to the profession, foretelling a varied and multidisciplinary expansion that profiles this new set of works as a confluence of interests, even though its origin has little to do with homogeneous attitudes or sensitivities. A new generation of architects, from diverse upbringings and educational backgrounds, is drawing the new map of Chilean architecture. These individuals are the main players in public competitions, research initiatives and projective reflections. Along these lines, the Young Architects Program from the Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 is developed in Chile by Constructo and is currently in its second edition. This platform for young architects, which invites them to reflect on contemporary collective spaces and the sustainable use of materials, reflects the level and quality of contemporary works in Chile. One could call this scenario “Chilean architecture 2.0”—a contemporary scenario where the limits of architectural layouts are revisited and design tools and new architectural resources are updated, where there is a high degree of experimentation and research within the discipline.

Chilean architecture, are capable of projecting works that instantly contribute to our heritage while promoting further local development in aspects like technology, materiality and construction processes, revealing that globalization is not removed from the discipline. Many Chilean architects have left our country to give expression to their works abroad. In this sense, greater, albeit incipient, dialogue with foreigners is still pending, as more foreign architects begin to work in Chile and more opportunities exist for Chileans to work in other parts of the world. Now the pending matters regarding this “successful”, recognized architecture include developing architecture capable of housing the complexity of new architectural layouts, demand for better quality collective spaces by capitalizing on opportunities to build infrastructure, spaces where architects generally do not seem as comfortable as in beautiful landscapes. Other unresolved issues involve building more and better urban relationships as well as architectural comprehension of the dimensions of modern urban planning. Architectural qualities always seem to become lost in the scale of work particular to urban planning. This double relationship that Solá Morales understands as something in between architecture and urban planning is what we need when building our new cities.

This scenario of ongoing questioning and challenges paves the way for professionals from other latitudes that, in harmony with current

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Jeannette Plaut and Marcelo Sarovic are practicing architects and the directors of Constructo. Plaut is an architecture critic and author of PULSO: New Architecture in Chile and Sarovic runs his own architectural practice. Both have been published in local and international publications.


57STUDIO

1)

4)

What is the most important aspect in your architecture?

We attempt to emphasize the relationship between architecture and its context. This can be through either natural or artificial means, using space, form, construction techniques and materials.

2)

What role does the culture, landscape and the heritage of Chile play in your architecture? Chile has an unrestrained and wild geography that is impossible to control through architecture or even larger urban scale development. Constructed forms create a stark contrast to the natural landscape. We can see this in colonial construction, as well as the best examples of the Chilean modern movement. Our aim is to maintain this idea of complement and contrast through architectural expression that ties the constructed object to the broader context. In less extreme landscapes we try to maintain a harmonious relationship between the structure and landscape.

3)

Is there still room for tradition in contemporary Chilean architecture, or has it become a thing of the past? We believe that it is possible, tradition is something that will always be inherent to our architecture. We are respectful to adapting to contemporary trends, however, we do not get caught up in including cutting-edge systems in our architecture if it is detrimental to the function of the building. Understanding traditional construction methods is interesting as it can result in a contemporary solution derived from a collective memory.

What do you foresee as some challenges in the future of Chilean architecture and urban living in Chile?

One of the challenges is definitely decentralization from Santiago. Chile should develop a greater number of cities distributed throughout the long country, but developed through linear passages from the Pacific Ocean to the Andes mountain range. This would in turn create a greater commercial and touristic connection between the rest of South America and the world. It would encourage the development of train networks and other major transport routes that are currently undervalued.

5)

What differentiates contemporary architecture in Santiago de Chile from elsewhere? The best examples of architecture outside of urban centres like Santiago have a sobriety and value obtained via the purity of space and materials. This demonstrates a positive energy through strong geographical ties to the surrounds. However, in Santiago, the immediate urban context is influenced by the presence of the nearby hills and Andes mountain range that is a permanent backdrop to the city and its architecture.

EL ROBLE CHAPEL | 57 STUDIO =6=

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6)

What is the fi rst step you take when embarking on a project?

The first step is always to visit the site that is to be developed. The aim of this is to look at its geographical context and to find the potential within the landscape. We then rigorously study the topography and digitally model it so we can place the program within the specific context. It is only then that the design process can begin.

7)

Which parts of a project do you fi nd the most interesting?

A project is interesting when there is a motivated and enthusiastic client who both knows what they want, but also trusts in us and our work. After a project is complete, we become interested in how the work ages and becomes integrated into the landscape.

scape and natural enviorment as a central part of our houses. So, we think that the “heart” of our houses is ironically outside of them.

10)

What is the one thing you wish you have learnt at architecture school but didn’t?

We studied architecture during the shift from analogue to digital methods. The digital tools we use today weren’t included in our studies so we had to learn them independently. However, the fact that we use both resources has been well worth the extra effort. Now we can see that approaches can be more spontaneous and less informed by technology, which we weren’t taught. Despite this, digital design is a good opportunity to develop new design techniques.

8)

What aspects of your city influence the way you live and practice? In our country, architects have the potential to practice a range of diverse fields within architecture. However, the opportunity to actually construct their own designs is limited. This makes us think that we have been in the right places at the right times and are privileged to be working as architects. We practice architecture with both pride and a sense of responsibility.

9)

What does home mean to you?

In spanish the word “home” has the meaning of the word “hearth” in english. This word is used to name what in early days was the heart of a house: The place where the fire was made for cooking or warming. Since the weather in Santiago allows a deep relation between exterior and interior spaces, we define the land-

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KÜBLER HOUSE | 57 STUDIO =9=


ALEJANDROARAVENA The architecture of Alejandro Aravena ranges across both the public and private sectors to include residential, cultural, educational and institutional projects in North and South America. Based in Santiago de Chile, Aravena has a particular interest in creating architecture that engages with social and political issues. Aravena’s architecture maximises the potential of each site and program, responding to existing conditions to produce both functional and innovative outcomes. This can be seen in the Siamese Towers project where a glass tower was commissioned but was considered inappropriate for the climate of Santiago. To respond to both brief and climatic conditions Aravena, split the building in two and created a double-skinned building to improve its environmental performance and reduce cost by providing an air cavity sandwiched between external glass and internal fiber-cement skins. His commitment to social equity includes being Executive Director of Elemental S.A., a for profit organisation that proposes low-cost social housing via the maxim ‘in the problem is the solution’. In the Monterrey Housing project, Aravena created modules that can be added to as self-build projects enabling residents to create a home suited to their individual needs and tastes. By focusing on what is necessary and essential the project avoids the traditional single designed solution, producing a cost effective responsive architecture. GAP

ST. EDWARD’S UNIVERSITY | ALEJANDRO ARAVENA = 10 =

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CAZÚZEGERS

1)

The essence of my design revolves around art, imagination, and love.

obligation to design for the landscape and the local people because of the impact buildings have on the virgin landscape. I work close to a church and do pro-bono work, such as pilgrim houses and small chapels.

2)

7)

Describe the essence of your design philosophy in 3 words.

What is the most important aspect in architecture to you?

People - because architecture is a social issue.

3)

What is the one thing you can’t live without as an architect?

That would be a sketchbook and a pen.

4)

What is the fi rst step you take when embarking on a project?

The first step would be interviewing clients, and also drawing. I draw the site on which the project will go, as well as ideas in little sketches that look for the overall gesture of the architecture. I also do a lot of writing and study models.

5)

What makes a good building?

A good building is something that you feelthe atmosphere of it. From my perspective, a good building is one that fulfills the client’s needs, and at the same time is a response to a certain site and problematic typology. All this should be done in a vernacular way and it must be respectful to the environment.

6)

What does it mean to be an architect in your city?

Practicing architecture is a social responsibility. All creative activity requires an expenditure of mental and physical energy. To be an architect here in Chile is an enormous responsibility because of the many factors we have to consider. These include seismic soil, tsunami risks and the fact that this territory is remote. To build anything we are under an

10)

What role does the culture, landscape and the heritage of Chile play in your architecture?

I think the future issues will involve urban design, social homes and urban development by real estate agencies, who are destroying the ‘pre-cordillera’ land scape and urban identity by generating houses and buildings with no true architectural value and won’t withstand the test of time.

My architecture is part of the vernacular tradition, in a contemporary way. It engages in a dialogue with the landscape, which is done for and with the landscape. I think my architecture opens a new language of forms in Chile. The first time I am on site for a project, I ask the landscape - ‘Who do you want to be?’ I then spend a great deal of time wandering around in that specific area looking for a response in the topography, hydrography, flora, fauna and in its heritage. The vernacular trace should not be erased. I work with it and then dissect it so that it can be reconstructed with new and original forms.

8)

11)

What do you foresee as some challenges in the future of Chilean architecture and urban living?

What differentiates contemporary architecture in Santiago de Chile from elsewhere?

I believe that design in Santiago is defined by material and scale.

9)

Is there still room for tradition in contemporary Chilean architecture, or has it become a thing of the past?

What does home mean to you?

To me, home refers to oneself, where the design and construction of a physical house is in turn a construction of our inner being. I always design for the transcendent aspect of people within vernacular spaces, continually searching, for example for an experience with light. Perhaps it is an architectural connection to nature or the possibility of human encounters within homes.

With all the earthquakes here in Chile, traditional adobe houses have become a thing of the past. Even the traditional low-lying colonial architecture characterized by the use of adobe mud bricks that are made to withstand earthquakes are no longer being built. However, in the southern forest regions there is a tradition of European carpenters who have an ancient knowledge of wood construction, specifically in building ships and barns. This type of architecture is still current in a more contemporary way. In Santiago, modern materials such as concrete, steel, drywall systems have become a standard building type.

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SHELL HOUSE | CAZÚ ZEGERS = 13 =

gesture | figure | form


gesture | figure | form

BARN HOUSE| CAZÚ ZEGERS

gesture | figure | form

HOTEL OF THE WIND| CAZÚ ZEGERS = 14 =

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GONZALOMARDONES

1)

Describe the essence of your design philosophy in three words.

6)

Light, space - Intercropped.

Good architecture is timeless, but it must be essentially contemporary in every city. Obviously, the conditions of each city are so diverse; therefore the context always influences the way in which we approach design. Design within Santiago is therefore always going to be dierent to design in other cities.

What differentiates contemporary architecture in Santiago de Chile from elsewhere?

2)

What is the most important aspect in your architecture?

We aspire to create works that combine construction rationale and compositional reason. The finished work should inspire reflection, be aesthetically pleasing and creatively and emotionally charged. Architecture is made for the people using it, not the architect designing it. It must evoke emotion through simplicity, austerity and contemporaneousness. In short, architecture should be experimental and use ideas, light and space eectively.

3)

What does it mean to be an architect?

It means many things to be an architect, but I feel it is foremost a privilege. Essentially, it is a way to live, feel and think about something that can be called architecture.

4)

What does it mean to be an architect in your city?

I feel committed to try to shape the urban figure that Santiago requires. Through projects and documents I aim to work on the recovery of urban barbarity done in Santiago in the last decades.

5)

What is the fi rst step you take when embarking on a project?

The first step is always observation. From this comes the concept that allows us to create the final built work. Intuition, images, renunciation and previous ideas are all used to begin the design process. Then comes a point in time that you must begin to draw and write so that the ideas can become a built form.

7)

What role does the culture, landscape and the heritage of Chile play in your architecture? The Chilean landscape is our main heritage - therefore architecture must correspond to that unique and divine geography.

8)

How has the recent tumultuous history of Chile impacted the course of Chilean architecture?

Our own and all histories aect architecture.

9)

Do you aim for a more local or universal take on architecture?

11)

What is your design position on building materiality?

Every material has unique qualities, its own expression, origin, nature and all of them are fascinating. There is something mysterious but intrinsic in each material. The task of the architect is to reveal this mystery, to reveal its true nature and expresses this through construction. Whether the material is concrete, brick, wood, glass, stone or steel, it is important that there is intention to express the material truthfully. Each material has its own expression, origin and nature which make all of them fascinating to me. Generally we tend to decide on a material and work with it throughout an entire project; one material usually dominates in each project. History also plays a large role in material representation. Reinforced concrete is a material that references history but is also versatile enough to create new building forms. I like its deep expressive qualities, as well as its consistency and plasticity that no other structural material has.

A good local architecture becomes universal immediately and vice versa.

10)

Would you describe yourself as designer, builder or sculptor?

I define myself as an architect that designs through blurring the boundary between architecture and sculpture to create each building.

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GLAMIS APARTMENTS| GONZALO MARDONES = 17 =


GRUPOTALCA

1)

5)

The most important aspect in our architecture is the relationship between local people and what they can do with their hands. This is because we work closely with local inhabitants; we create new projects and invite them to participate in the construction process.

We believe that architects can respond to conflicts between urban and rural areas. Architects can be useful to propose innovative solutions in order to keep rural extensions and they play a productive role in an agricultural country like Chile.

2)

6)

What is the most important aspect in your architecture?

What is the fi rst step you take when embarking on a project?

The first step is to establish a close relationship with the inhabitants of the specific territory to familiarize ourselves with their traditional work processes and then use that to encourage local participation in the construction process.

3)

What role does the culture, landscape and the heritage of Chile play in your architecture?

What is the architect’s role in the future of Chile?

4)

Is there still room for tradition in contemporary Chilean architecture, or has it become a thing of the past?

It definitely hasn’t become a thing of the past. We think that it is a key aspect to incorporate tradition in contemporary architecture. We do not believe in repeating the same architecture, but think, that including a hand-working tradition in contemporary architecture with contemporary requirements is always important.

What does home mean to you?

Home means a state of pleasure and peacefulness in a place that responds to contextual conditions. Home is the human situated within this context. The idea of ‘home’ is always a balance between context, landscape and human requirements. It is the individual craftwork that creates a context in relation to the landscape and creates a home through solving individual requirements.

What differentiates contemporary architecture in Santiago de Chile from elsewhere? In Chile we have a unique relationship between our work and the landscape. We can design in extreme landscapes without our work destroying them. We do this through close analysis of proportion, scale, materials, etcetera.

7)

The culture, landscape and heritage of Chile are used in our search for a territorial architecture that can represent local heritage and culture that’s represented in handmade things. Here in Chile many examples of architecture have developed within local cultures. The architecture is representative of the local inhabitants.

10)

What is the most interesting aspect of a project?

The most important aspect of a project is defi nitely the construction process, because it is in this phase that the design can be realized.

8)

What does it mean to be an architect?

Being an architect is to regard the needs of local inhabitants and respond to territorial needs and surrounding factors. The architecture can order the territory, but only on the most minimal scale; the human scale needs to order the macro scale. This is architecture, the related factor between things about all these scales.

9)

Would you describe yourself as builder, designer or sculptor?

Looking through our work you can see that we are all those things: builder, designer and sculptor but also social relations officer, manager, engineer etc. We are all those because the scarcity of resources requires that we use innovation and multiplicity in each of our projects.

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HOOD HAT BARBECUE | GRUPO TALCA = 19 =


OBSERVATION DECK IN PINOHUACHO | GRUPO TALCA = 20 =

CASA EL TIEMBLO | INFINISKI = 21 =


INFINISKI

1)

6)

What is the most important aspect of your architecture?

Our goal is to make design approachable to the common person at affordable prices. That’s why we are sort of like Ikea, we have the same spirit.

2)

What is the fi rst step you take when embarking on a project?

The first step is thinking without any graphic tool. Generating the concept is everything. We start with Infiniski’s philosophy as a general concept for everything we embark on and then add the particular inputs for each project.

3)

What do you foresee as some challenges in the future of Chilean architecture and urban living in Chile? Social housing responses and respectful use of the land are the main challenges of Chilean architecture.

7)

What differentiates contemporary architecture in Santiago de Chile from elsewhere? Santiago as a big city is not ignorant to global aspects and therefore its architecture is an urban one compared to a rural vernacular found elsewhere in Chile.

8)

What role does the culture, landscape and the heritage of Chile play in your architecture?

What makes a good building?

Chile is a country that takes pride in its landscape; it is a rural country, despite having as big a city as Santiago in the middle of it. This is reflected in our architecture, which is respectful to nature and landscape across all scales, both in the concept and choice of materials.

4)

How has the recent tumultuous history of Chile impacted the course of Chilean architecture?

Chile has succeeded to translate its recent abrupt history into a reasonably high standard of living for its inhabitants. One can see an improved level of architecture because of adaptive architects, technical aptitude and progressive use of materials.

Architecture won’t save the world but at least it should be up to date with the current global challenges for it to be considered as ‘good’. It has to be responsive to current global issues.

9)

What does home mean to you?

Home is the essence of architecture since it fills one of the most basic needs of humanity. Therefore even in a small piece of architecture, Infiniski tries to compress all its philosophy. A good home is where the user can live a happy and fruitful life accommodated by the architecture which we are responsible for creating.

5)

What is your design position on building materiality?

Infiniski’s philosophy consists of giving a second life to materials, so longevity in materials is important to us.

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CASA MANIFESTO | INFINISKI = 23 =


LANDARQUITECTOS

1)

What does it mean to be an architect?

To be an architect is to be an interpreter that is able to mediate between the abstract and the real. Most importantly, it is to be able to project your unique vision and interpretation of the real world through to built projects and environments.

2)

What is the most important aspect of your architecture?

We have a profound interest in improving quality of life and how people live within the environment, both natural and urban. Chile’s wide range of climates and sensitive ecosystems makes the development of sustainable architecture and urban planning key to the overall socio-economic development of the country. This relationship between people and key elements of the environment such as biodiversity, ecological systems and climate diversity, underscores the need to understand architecture from a multidisciplinary perspective. Our studio looks for design solutions that connect people with a particular landscape, designing projects which improve the quality of life by improving daily encounters with the natural world while working with passive energy such as sunlight, ventilation and the like. The interrelationship between these elements has been brought to the forefront in design relating to conservation, ecological cycles, environmental restoration, land use and zoning, sustainable building practices, fi nancial and project resource management, as well as cultural, social and policy issues. Together, these components form the individual character and identity of a place. This connection with the local environment is what we strive to restore and enhance through our designs.

mental design through small private projects, residential, wellness spas, and earthquake emergency houses, also rural and low income schools and through the design and development of larger projects involving regional planning of catchments and landscapes - also projects which have an impact on local communities. Some of these projects involve master planning as well as the design of infrastructure and architectural details.

3)

What role does the culture, landscape and the heritage of Chile play in your architecture? We have travelled through dierent regions of Chile and as a result this has put us into direct contact with not only the richness of the landscape, but also with the poverty of the people who inhabit these beautiful places. Uninformed design results in risks towards the environment and ultimately to the people that inhabit them. We have taken part in diverse projects that aim to look for solutions to the way people inhabit a particular landscape - improving their quality of life by improving their relationship with the environment, by respecting and preserving local culture and customs, and using local resources. An example of this is on the Chilean central coast, where we are involved in a project that aims to protect and restore the waterfront landscape and local ecology, and to build a public space around the waterfront for the community, infrastructure to accommodate local fishermen and recreational activities such as sports (especially surfing). The project also aims to define an area of mitigation and escape routes in the event of a tsunami.

We have participated in the field of environ= 24 =

FINGER JOINT HOUSE| LAND ARQUITECTOS (Photography by Sergio Pirrone) = 25 =


4)

What is the fi rst step you take when embarking on a project?

Before we begin any project, we conduct a period of in-depth research, a process that is aimed at selecting the relevant information that will inform our design and its criteria. Then we develop these criteria into sketches that enable us to arrive at a formal concept. The formation of the concept is vital for our designs. Every project we undertake is usually subjected to a long phase of model experimentation.

7)

What does home mean to you?

Home is always a projection of the person or group of individuals that inhabit it. Architects should be able to address this and create structures that represent the individual within diverse contexts. It is imperative to incorporate the larger environmental scale into each idea to truly create a home.

5)

How has the recent tumultuous history of Chile impacted the course of Chilean architecture?

One of the biggest challenges that we have been confronted is finding ways in which to merge environmental design with economic sustainability. These two aspects of architecture and planning have become very important issues in Chile ever since the 2010 earthquake that destroyed thousands of homes, roads and businesses. Learning from the destructive forces that the natural world periodically imposes on human development is an important aspect of our nation’s reconstruction process.

6)

What differentiates contemporary architecture in Santiago de Chile from elsewhere in the country? Chile is a country that has been blessed with natural heritage - this alone underscores the importance of architects to focus on projects that help support local development without damaging the environment, and in this way, move forward with an ever developing sustainable agenda.

SPA LAS PALMAS| LAND ARQUITECTOS (Photography by Sergio Pirrone) = 26 =

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MARCELOCORTÉS The architecture of Marcelo Cortés combines Chilean building traditions with modern construction techniques. Cortés places strong emphasis on earthen construction methods, which he derives from the historical use of adobe construction in Chile. The construction methods and benefits of adobe have always been known to Chileans, particularly from the northern regions of the country and are therefore important in Chilean building traditions. ‘Quincha’ is a traditional method of construction Cortés favours and has developed for use in his architecture. Utilising steel mesh framing and steel structural members (as opposed to traditional timber framing) covered in mud and straw, this adaptation of traditional techniques for contemporary architecture demonstrates strong ties to tradition and context. This can be seen through the use of primarily local materials. Earth from the site and its immediate surrounds is used in construction, which integrates the architecture with the landscape in which it sits. Additional benefits to locally sourcing materials include the creation of sustainable architecture, an important issue in contemporary living. From the beginning of the design process, both construction and design are considered as an integrated process that has a strong connection to place and context, with ties to heritage and sustainable practices. Cortés is also the president and founder of Fundación Jofré, a not-for-profit organization that promotes cultural heritage through targeted participatory projects. It has a strong emphasis on promoting earth as a contemporary building material with social and historical benefits. Through the architecture of Marcelo Cortés and Fundación Jofré a strong concern with social issues, sustainability and the promotion of vernacular architecture can be witnessed. GAP

GRANJA AVENTURA| MARCELO CORTÉS = 28 =

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MATHIASKLOTZ

1)

6)

Functionality - to be able to live in it. I believe in cultivating forms that are experientially quiet and unobtrusive, allowing scope for the development of the drifter’s imagination according to and through space.

I like the construction process, because it’s the stage when you begin to really engage with your ideas and how they emerge physically.

What is the most important aspect in your architecture?

Which parts of a project do you fi nd the most interesting?

2)

What is the fi rst step you take when embarking on a project?

The first and most important step is really to understand the context and needs of a project in order to define an appropriate concept and brief. I work conceptually, drawing extensively from both 2D and 3D mediums from the very start of the design process.

3)

What role does the culture, landscape and the heritage of Chile play in your architecture?

7)

What aspects of your city influence the way you live and practice? The surrounding context - because in one-hour I can move from a ski-center to the seaport -I like nature much more than the city. For me skiing, trekking and sailing are the most important activities in my life. Architecture is just my profession that I try to do as well as possible.

8)

What is the one thing you wish you have learnt at architecture school but didn’t?

To charge.

The local context of one’s heritage is paramount in defining many of the aspects of the processes of architectural development and the results of it. This applies to my practice of architecture, both in Chile and Dubai.

4)

How has the recent tumultuous history of Chile impacted the course of Chilean architecture?

In my opinion, it has had no more of an impact than the immense volume of construction after any economic and political crisis.

9)

Would you describe yourself as designer, builder or sculptor?

Worker.

10)

What does home mean to you?

To me, the idea of ‘home’ represents the fundamental idea of shelter. In my architecture I try to create an atmosphere that reflects the idea of a shelter and create an experience for the people that live in it everyday.

5)

What do you foresee as some challenges in the future of Chilean architecture and urban living in Chile?

The challenge is to design and construct appropriate social housing and more comfortable cities. RAUL HOUSE | MATHIAS KLOTZ = 30 =

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L HOUSE | MATHIAS KLOTZ

UDP CENTRAL LIBRARY | MATHIAS KLOTZ = 32 =

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MOURERIVERA

1)

What is the one thing you wish you had learnt at architecture school but didn’t?

ture as there are many conservative people who refuse to do different things. However I think that is now changing.

I wish I had learnt two things, to have learned more software and have a greater understanding of technology and to have had more contact with the real world and a better understanding of the construction process via undertaking more internships.

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2)

What is the most important aspect in your architecture?

The most important aspect for me is to always start our projects with an idea that is radical, which will help us make something different. We think that it is important to try and encourage creativity and to not repeat the same formulas.

3)

What is the fi rst step you take when embarking on a project?

The first step is to try to start a new concept and to define the construction that will accompany us throughout the whole designing process. For example in House A, the idea of the construction came from the harmonic subdivision of the square. It was this that we constantly referred back to throughout the entire design process. We tried to make many models for this project, the best of which we developed with more detail. We work with the same processes that we did when we were in university, lots of 3D and physical models, and constant review of the project.

4)

What role does the culture, landscape and the heritage of Chile play in your architecture?

How do you see architecture in the 21st century?

This is a very difficult question because I don’t know what architecture belongs to this century. Currently I am studying as a post-graduate student and seeing all these strange projects makes you realize that in this century we are searching for a new concept for architecture. Within this search technologies play a very important role. I am currently playing with robots to see how we can make or change architecture. In my opinion, this type of change attempted in Chile is difficult but not impossible.

6)

Is there still room for tradition in contemporary Chilean architecture, or has it become a thing of the past? There is still enough room for tradition. There are so many beautiful projects that are very traditional, such as those made by using mud and adobe.

7)

What differentiates contemporary architecture in Santiago de Chile from elsewhere? I really don’t see a difference between contemporary architectural design in Santiago and the rest of the country. I think there are very good examples of architecture across Chile.

I don’t really know how much our architecture can be affected by these things although culture has a strong influence. We try all the time to fight against it and make changes. In Chile it is quite difficult to produce radical architec-

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8)

What makes a good building?

A good building is a confluence of different elements, such as good function, an interesting conceptual proposition, good materials and cheap construction. If the project has all of these, it is a good project for me. Good architecture is important because it is a social thing that can help people live better lives within nice and healthy areas, with a lot of light and ventilation.

9)

What aspects of your city influence the way you live and practice? That it is so new that you have many possibilities to do great things. It is our laboratory.

10)

“Architecture is the art of manipulating forms”, Do you agree? I disagree. I think manipulating forms is just a part of being an architect, for me there are bigger things. To be an architect is to be a perfect professional with a diverse range of abilities. For example, you can be an extraordinary constructor who owns an amazing company, participate in social things like “un techo para chile” and contribute in making poor families in my country happy. The things you can do as an architect are amazing. I prefer the design feel, but this is my opinion, and I don’t think that it’s better than the others. It is just different.

11)

This is one thing that is really important; to be a better architect you must sometimes forget. It is the only way to reinvent yourself and your architecture.

12)

What does home mean to you?

That is a hard question. I am currently developing designs for my own house at the beach and it has been a very complicated process. I am aiming to create an atmosphere that expresses relationships and emotions the way that I want people to experience in the house. I am onto my sixth attempt, not because I am not clear with how I want my home, but I’m unsure as to how the architecture can help me achieve this. I think architecture generates inexplicable things in people and therefore we should be very careful as to how we apply it. We find ourselves in the complicated situation of expressing what we want to achieve and defining a formal response to it. Generally, we do between five and nine designs per house, as we want to find the closest relation to home that each family has.

What does it mean to be an architect?

It’s not a profession, it’s my life. Being an architect is to have an extraordinary tool that you can use to do everything you want. You can transit between the most rational and the most conceptual approaches, like art. Architecture is amazing, but you can never forget to forget.

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PARTICIPATINGARCHITECTS 57 Studio

THANKYOU ! The GAP team would like to extend a special thank you to everyone involved in the production of the 2011 GAP Santiago de Chile exhibition. We would like to thank in particular, the convenor of the GAP project, Blair Gardiner for extending our architectural education and for his guidance, direction and ideas. Rosanna Verde’s constant support and professional advice was invaluable; Jeannette Plaut and Marcelo Sarovic contribution of an introduction on Chilean architecture is greatly appreciated, as was VEIL’s generosity in providing the frames.

57studio.blogspot.com Email: info@57studio.com Tel: (+562) 671 1255

Alejandro Aravena www.alejandroaravena.com Email: info@alejandroaravena.com Tel: (+562) 753 3000

Cazú Zegers www.cazuzegers.cl Email: cazu@cazuzegers.cl

Mostly, we wish to thank to all the participating designers who took the time to engage with a group of students from a distant place, to share their enthusiasm for design and to provide an insight into the rich landscape of their ideas and to make this another highly rewarding Global Architecture Profile.

Gonzalo Mardones www.gonzalomardonesv.cl Email: gm@gonzalomardonesv.cl Tel: (+562) 949 3081

Grupo Talca www.grupotalca.org Email: info@grupotalca.org

Students within the Bachelor of Environments program have been responsible for every aspect of the exhibition, including contacting and liaising with the designers, curating and organising the exhibition, as well as the production of this catalogue. Every effort has been made to identify sources appropriately. If there have been accidental errors, or omissions, we apologise to those concerned.

Infi niski www.infiniski.com Email: info@infiniski.com Tel: (+569) 660 71991

LAND Arquitectos www.landarquitectos.com Email: contacto@landarquitectos.com Tel: (+569) 951 97567

Marcelo Cortés www.marcelocortes.cl Email: mcortes@marcelocortes.cl

Mathias Klotz www.mathiasklotz.com Email: mklotz@mathiasklotz.com

Moure Rivera www.mourerivera.cl Email: info@mourerivera.cl Tel: (+562) 761 3040

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Santiago - GAP 2011  
Santiago - GAP 2011  
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