Page 1

olimpia lira

architect +1 917 4994415

Contents Introduction Projects 1- Sutil Vineyard 2- Las Ruas House 3- Sutil Studio 4- Library of Congress competition 5- La Candelaria Church restoration 6- Visitor Center Info

olimpia lira


Time has been a permanent research in my work.

For my final project as an architecture student I decided to work in Easter Island because I was interested in how to build structures being respectful with landscape and cultural traditions. The way I achieved this was by constantly referring to the islands historic architecture, their traditional use of natural materials and their vernacular organic forms. The concept of time has changed throughout my work. At the beginning it was mainly about historic references and later I got interested in the patina that time leaves in materials. This interest is traduced in a constant use of recycled materials in my work. Woods, doors, windows, floors, furniture and pillars from demolitions are many times the starting point of the project. I believe that time gives architecture warmth and by recycling spaces and materials, the architecture assumes the traces and experiences of these elements as their own. After the 2010 earthquake in Chile I got especially interested in restoration and historic preservation. Seeing my country and its built heritage devastated really motivated me to do something with this specific discipline and contribute to its development. Because of this, I worked reconstructing adobe churches at the High Andean Plateau and have also worked in the refurbishment and reuse of buildings seeing these projects as opportunities to renovate and update places without ignoring its history and significance. Currently I’m studying a Masters in Historic Preservation in Columbia University learning about the discipline in specific and thinking about the arguments and ways that will help me save built heritage in the future. The works presented in this portfolio were done as a graduated and licensed architect and refer to the most important works as an independent, collaborator and associate architect.

sutil vineyard colchagua valley / chile architects: olimpia lira, cristian izquierdo year: 2009

The commission was to refurbish the existing industrial installations of a vineyard so they could be part of the touristic route of wine in Colchagua Valley. The first decision was to plant vineyard around the productive area, to insert the building in the raw material of wine. In the courtyard formed by the existing structures it is proposed to plant oranges as a regular grid, referring to traditional Chilean courtyards of the area.

The tour continues crossing the barrel area and going down a path into the earth to understand the ground where the vine grows. In this level there is a shop and an interpretation gallery, which are surrounding an open patio covered with vines. Then it goes to the surface so visitors can touch and smell the different kinds of vines. It continues up through a staircase inside a barrel, which arrives to a viewpoint over the landscape and the productive process. The tour ends in the two lateral buildings were the wine is bottled and labeled.

Orange patio

To homogenize the project, the volumes are covered with prefabricated corten steel panels, which have a color that refers to the oxidation process of wine. These panels are perforated and its pattern density varies according to the needs of light.

Underground patio

las ruas house zapallar / chile architect: olimpia lira year: 2011

North Facade

The design is based on two important issues.

1- The client is an artist, so the house also had to be a studio 2- The design had to consider 6 doors, 43 long windows and 38 short Douglas Fir windows that she had bought 28 years before, when the classic hotel of the area was demolished. The house stands on the plan, in a place free of trees and distant to the hills so it receives the maximum of direct sun in winter. It stands in the middle of the landscape like a simple and pure volume that evidences the interior distribution. Because of its use, it was important that the main space was spacious, bright and flexible, so it worked as a studio and a country house at the same time.

Living room and studio

A single, rectangular and symmetrical volume is built, which is divided in two on its long side, giving them different heights according to its use. The common space (4 meters average) has the entrance, dining room, living room, studio, library and circulation. The private area (3 meters average) has 4 rooms, bathrooms and the kitchen, all of which have access from the common space. All of the available recycled windows were distributed throughout the perimeter of the volume like doors to the outside, which are framed by the opening of the 30 cm wall. In the common space the windows are distributed symmetrically and repeatedly in all directions to emphasize the flexibility, and yet rigorousness of the space. Materials and textures give the space a human scale and atmosphere. For that, the structural system (concrete and brick) is left in evidence and, as all the windows and doors, the floor, beams and columns are also recycled materials.

Exterior View

West Facade

sutil studio zapallar / chile architect: olimpia lira year: 2012

Interior view

The commission was to build a painting studio spacious and with much light for an artist that left her studio in the city and moved to the country. The old studio used to be a cologne factory in a centric area in Santiago. It had great height, generous space and natural zenithal lighting. It was demolished for an office and commercial building.

Interior view

The new studio reused doors, windows and the floor of the old one and was designed with a similar plan and space. The natural zenithal lighting was maintained, because of its importance for the artist’s work. The space opens to the north to obtain direct light and views to the country, two new aspects for the artist’s working place.

library of congress competition santiago / chile architects: olimpia lira, ignacio amunรกtegui, daniela puga year: 2013

The competition brief was to recondition an

abandoned historic conservation building into the National Congress Library. Because the building is in a historic and conservation area, there are 3 strategies for it’s enhancement: 1- Historic Restoration of it’s facades to it’s original state. 2- Enhancement of the concrete pillar and beam system. They’re left in it`s original color and texture so the rational grid is high lightened and it is separated from the neoclassic shell. 3- Differentiation of the intervention. The new intervention is of steel, a material that makes contrast with the existing structure.

In the project books are the representation of the library’s information and so they are defined to articulate the program. The proposal is to introduce a new structure that contains and exhibits the collection. It`s a big bookshelf that is presented at whole length and width of the building. This steel structure assumes the weight of the books and is supported on the existing concrete structure. There’s a staircase on the side of this big book shelf that generates empty spaces that link the building in it’s vertical dimension, letting natural light in and a generating an overall view of the library.

Working space

Both public and library workers are in direct relation with the big bookshelf. The flexible distribution is determined by the furniture, so the plan is open and naturally illuminated by the original windows of the building. The private zones are translucent volumes that are retro illuminated and absorb noise.

Entrance hall

candelaria church restoration project bel茅n / chile institution: fundaci贸n altiplano colaborator architect:olimpia lira year: 2010

The project consisted in restoring an abandoned XVII century andean barroc church and convert it into a interpretation center for of the history of the village and a broader missionary route. The Church is made of the traditional adobe constructive system of the High Plateau region. The first task was to do a thorough damage report and a critical analysis to develop the preservation issues and restoration project. The work was developed in an intense 2 week stay in the village detailing and locating each crack, stucco detachment, wood damage and wall settlement.

The criteria for the restoration project was:

1- Authenticity by using local and the same as the original materials and constructive system 2- Security: It was important to consider a seismic reinforcement. This was achieved with a Peruvian technology consisting in confining all the walls with a geomesh that unifies and gives continuity to the system 3- Reversibility: Every new intervention had to be reversible, including the reinforcement system

visitor center torres del paine architect: enrique browne associate architect: olimpia lira year: 2012

The office worked on a Master Plan for the touristic development of 5.000 hectare of Cerro Paine Ranch, which is inside the Torres del Paine National Park in Chilean Patagonia. Because of its important location inside the Park (declared World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO), the plan was done with extreme care, and had involvement of an interdisciplinary team, together with the clients and authorities. The extraordinary site is literally on Finis Terrae, (Latitude 50º 55´S) and it has a hotel, some touristic facilities and rests of its past ranch use. It has one of the most pristine ecosystem on earth, so the plan leaves 80% of the area untouched, and only 0,05% for built programs.

study model

The visitor center is the first project to be commissioned. The objective is to receive the arriving visitors, to let them leave behind urban life and to experience what the park has to offer. Cars are replaced for equestrian or pedestrian transportation from this point.

All visitors must pass through the stables, were horses are cared of and prepared. Metaphorically speaking it´s a great hallway were visitors pass from one world to another. It´s protected by tall stone walls on three sides, but to the west it was necessary to leave it open. So in order to let the strong wind pass, and avoid it getting stuck, the big roof is separated from the walls. Next to the stables are the equestrian patio and the patagonian pens.


From this place there’s a road that leads visitors to the Observation Square, were they may look over amazing views of the famous geological Towers, the ranch, the Nordenskold lake and the far away Andes Mountains. As well, this area has the AMA offices and labs (Friends of the Environment Association), which is also a place with a conference room and an exhibition area were visitors may be informed of the park’s main attractions, rules and facilities. In addition to this research center, there are commercial spaces, cafeterias, public bathrooms and a locker room. From this point, visitors are free to choose where and when to go. These structures are made of stone walls that come off the hill, just like the diorite stone extrusions that are all over the park.

Observation square

Olimpia Lira Sutil

Address: 100 Morningside Drive, Apt 5K, New York, New York 10027 T: +1 917 499 4415 E:

EDUCATION Columbia University, New York, New York - Masters in Historic Preservation, 2015 (Expected) Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile - Bachelor of Architecture, 2009 - Additional Studies: Adobe Construction Certificate, 2010 Landscape Architecture Degree, 2009 - Exchange Program: École d’Architecture, de la Ville et les Territoires Marne la Valleé. Paris, France, 2006 WORK EXPERIENCE Olimpia Lira Architect. Santiago Chile Independent practice, 2009-today

- Las Rúas House. Zapallar, Chile Design, drawing, specialty projects coordination, specification project and construction supervisor for private house. Project exhibited in XVIII Architecture Biennale, Chile, 2012 Published in January 16th 2014, - Sutil Studio. Zapallar, Chile Design, drawing, specialty projects coordination, specification project and construction supervisor for artist studio. - National Congress Library Competition. Santiago, Chile Design for the restoration and adaptation of Huneeus Palace into the National Congress Library headquarter in Santiago. - Sutil Vineyard, Santa Cruz, Chile Design for the refurbishment of the actual Sutil Vineyard and design for visitor attraction.

Enrique Browne and Associate Architects. Santiago, Chile Associate and Collaborator Architect, 2010-2013

- Visitor Center at Paine Ranch. Torres del Paine, Chile. Associate Architect and project manager of a Visitor Center (Stables, interpretation and research center, cafeteria and shops) in one of the most visited National Parks in Chilean Patagonia. In charge of design, representation, client relation and specialty projects coordination. - Professional Institute Santo Tomás University San Joaquín. Santiago, Chile. Collaborator Architect in design and representation. - Professional Institute Codelco Competition. Calama, Chile. Collaborator Architect in design and representation. - Assistant to Enrique Browne, founder and principal of the firm. In charge of preservation and cataloguing of original documents and drawings. In charge of project publications and diffusion.

Fundación Altiplano. Arica, Chile Professional Internship, 2010

- Virgen La Candelaria Church Restoration. Belén, Chile. Damage analysis and report of XVI century Andean adobe church. Collaborator Architect in restoration design, specifications and planning. - La Candelaria Lodge. Belén, Chile. Collaborator Architect in restoration and adaptation of the old adobe parish house into a lodge for visitors doing the Missionary Trail. - San Pedro de Esquiña Church Restoration. Esquiña, Chile Adobe construction intensive Workshop in XVI century Andean adobe church. Collaboration in the traditional manufacture of adobes, hay roofing and stucco. - Pumanque Parish House Restoration. Pumanque, Chile Damage analysis and report of traditional adobe house severely damaged by the 2010 earthquake.

Raimundo Lira Architects. Santiago, Chile Collaborator Architect, 2009

- Special Event Venue Project. Santiago, Chile Collaborator Architect in design and representation.

F-G Architects. Santiago, Chile Internship, 2009

- Ski Refuges. La Parva, Chile: Draft design for three refuge types for a new residential in ski center La Parva - Cataloguing and production of graphic material for web page - Plan drawings for various projects

Easter Island Municipality. Easter Island, Chile Service Internship, 2007 - Cemetery Project. Easter Island, Chile Draft design for a new cemetery. - Hanga Roa Map Graphic design for map of Hanga Roa showing tourist attractions and services. Santolaya Building Company. Santiago, Chile Construction Internship, 2006

- Puerto Tranquilo Building. Santiago, Chile Materials take off. Collaboration in construction tasks such as brick laying, stucco and painting.

olimpia lira architect +1 917 4994415

Olimpia lira portafolio  
Olimpia lira portafolio