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Urban Hostelry In The Central Valley

Part 1 Project 2001
Ignacia Arrasate
Pontifical Catholic University of Chile Santiago Chile
The medium size city is a characteristic of the central valley in Chile. Joined by the road railway networks, these towns are surrounded by vineyards and agriculture farms, in this long and narrow valley, limited by the Andes Mountains to the East and the Coast Mountains to the West.

The nature of the hostal for this typical medium size city, is determinate by the surrounded activities and the methodology of local construction.

Project's location constitutes a high land mark, inserted on a network of uniform flat constructions with some vacuum places between. It is the cross point of two big axes of green areas, pivotal actors of a new dimension in the city landscape.
On this context, hostal building works simultaneously in two rols, first private with its activity and second, public, being a connection between two transfer urban activities.

The site is contained by two long walls separating uniform low rise unifamiliar constructions. The light makes the essence of the project, it defines the interior, and become a material of architecture. The empty espaces and the apertures in the roof define the order of the program.

The interior course is define in the relation of them with the light contained in the traslucide cubes that perforate the roof. The light generates focal points inside the volume.

The project propose a new relation with the urban landscape. The roof is a level in the high with a new perception of the medium city. This view relation the visitor with a mayor scale: the territory, a mayor space surrounded by the mountains that contains it borders.

Ignacia Arrasate

The workshop's central topic is Hospitality, as an act of man taken to build space, that in itself defines architecture in its most essential
contents, this is, in its capacity to "provide house".

The work was based on the concept of hospitality, but from the perspective of the extension of our territory and the shape of the country, in a moment in which many are thinking in the idea of a "country project", where we, architects, will have much to say.

How can a country be drawn?
Which would be the architectonic expression of a territory aiming to define its own identity?
Which is the dominant set of tensions in a locality, identified by drawing, considering it as a tool neither trivial nor pragmatic?

The workshop approached the case of the Maule region, a zone that requires vision and projectual ordering of its territory, to delineate a project that oscillates between the urban and the rural.

The work was carried out from small interventions that should receive a guest or a traveller. An approximation to the project that would allow the territory and an interior to appear simultaneously. That is, about how these lodging projects build in the area, a kind of "nowhere", have the capacity to create content relationships and to establish identity in the area to be intervened.


The lodging programme was studied from three cases:
a) Boarding houses in the route
b) Hostelry
c) House of guests

The premise about working in the topic of the lodging in the territory implied as a first condition the unity: architectonic object - interior - landscape construction. That is, to project in the territory not only as the management of magnitudes and scales relations, but to trace, starting from the project, visions of the future, to highly degraded zones, taking care of what is left of natural rural and urban landscape.


To operate with the territory from an architectonic point of view, is the support for the new development and territorial planning of the country.

This does not only mean to work with considerable scales but also to learn how to read from cartography something more than figures in the plan. It also means discovering new relationships and potential project situations that can establish restrictive and proposal elements in the urban and rural landscape.

The recognition of formal units in the territory starting from its topography, its surfaces, its textures, its singular elements and its area of influence, allows to understand and establish other relationships and project proposals in the territory that, in a fragmentary way, can construct this new image, sensitive to nature and landscape.

The idea is to incorporate in the design strategy some rules, from the beginning, with appropriate components to a local reality, incorporating territorial landscape elements, promoting, in this way, the rural or urban landscape that has been so deteriorated by development.

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