Scaffold on a Hill, A Habitat for the Whole of Valparaiso.
Valparaíso, main city-port of Chile. Amphitheatre of intricate hills that overlooks the Pacific. Here, the Concepcion Hill, which lies in the heart of the oldest sector of the city, accommodates activities of the nature of tourist-cultural and residential. A border of walk-about observatories is knitted among large houses, passages and narrow streets that communicate with the city by means of urban stairways. In one of these corners a "constellation" of housings is situated. With young couples, artists and their workshops, or families and their ancestry all near their work places. For them, in greater density, the grouping was thought like a great container to recycle to inhabit as a whole.
Previous to the assignment, an experimental purpose, as motor of architectural thinking, guide to the investigation that served as a base to the project, where the relevant co-ordinate was the light: essential matter of the work. This worked as a model with two white cubes, investigating their properties to welcome a habitat of overlappings. Then, the context was studied to intervene, finding data that allowed the intersection of the pattern with the place: the plant of light cubes assumed the scale of the container in three sizes that were fitting among them, with the volume and place, as pieces of a completely unexpected puzzle.
All the pieces were located according to three fundamental factors: the geometry of the place, the solar journey and the power of views and journeys. The result was one a unity of three volumes in a fan that capture the sun and generate an entire life of SCAFFOLD, where the contemplation appreciated as much in ascent, like in descent.
From the Northeast scaffold, to the west scaffold that opens up to unite the views among walkways, going by the threshold that articulates both and allows to cross the volume with a public stairway that is integrated to the existent one revitalising the journey hill-city. The common thing is qualified to their neighbours that domesticate its "big-house" with encounters and views that hide and lean out, recognising their environment.
Each volume has its access, but all communicate among patios, galleries, balconies, stairways and observatories. There are thirteen types of departments, from the duplex to the loft. They are 27 in total. Diverse like the necessities of the sector.
On the second semester of third grade in this school of architecture the thematic program developed was "grouped housing".
The workshop develops this program emphasising in two main aspects:
a) A dynamical experimentation round the origins of the architectural forms.
b) The workshop proposal is that the student has to make a reflection about the consequences that a housing a group will have on urban renovation for deteriorated spaces in town.
On the first aspect (a) "light" was the means of researching through direct observation all over the city in a building context.
This observation became something concrete and was supported in an architectural thematic that expressed the constructive principles of light.
Afterwards they experimented with abstract models, determining a particular architectural body of concepts (in language and significant diagrams), that acted as valid principles generating the architectural form.
On the second aspect (b) the city was, again, our field of studies. Now the pupil decides the most appropriate place to insert a type of housing group. He must comprehend the many ways of living that allow a certain building design in accordance to those of the specific place chosen.
In this case, the student works from an existent group of spoiled housing downtown. The abstract model nearly "shocks the space" and by consecutive approximations through spatial models (maquettes) light orientation and correct summoning are being subsequently incorporated.
This way a new building is proposed and emerges rooted on the place chosen..
A complex result, adjusted to the constructed landscape and to the ways of living from the space where it is summoned.