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New Dwelling Types At Choapa Valley

Part 1 Project 2002
Loreto Chacon
Pontifical Catholic University of Chile Santiago Chile
The placement site is mostly configured by a unique element, the ground, which shows with continuous folds a number of diverse spatial qualities. It is in the folds of this continuous plane where living takes place.

The housing typologies proposed for this place seek to avoid an impact or a direct confrontation with the natural surroundings. A fluid relationship between the inside and outside is wanted aswell. The proposal is based on the concept of turning the ground into an active surface, a constructed plane wherein the horizontal dominates over the vertical. Therefore the surfaces, horizons and the meeting points between the sky and the ground are clear and evident. The cover of the construction will finally be its main floor.

The place where the house is built has a 10% slope. So the essential operation is to keep the ground plane in an horizontal position in order to put underneath it the program of the house. In other words, the access level is the roof. This cover is a unique surface that folds to generate below it three different heights together with ventilation and overhead light for the house. Over the roof remains the natural ground resulting a sort of garden-on-the-roof with great sights to the Pacific Ocean.

Loreto Chacon

Subject: Theorical Study of new ways for human settlement

The subject of this workshop is to investigate and start making a reflection about how architecture will be transformed and will develop in new shapes and materials, as a consequence of this tecnological era, where we eventually will be able to inhabitate any place and any space as a consecuence of tecnology

Despite this global fact, Chile still appears as an unknown land, in wich the will of foundation and settlement appears as an struggle (against nature, climate, etc). Thus, the complexity of the study radicates in the aim of contextualization: following the axis of tecnological development, how can we generate structures and new ways of settlement that really belong to our territory. This belonging shold not be understood as a folkloric-indigenous approach, but rather as an architectural strategy in wich the key word is lightness, in order to change this misconception about inhabitation as a struggle against the soil and nature.

Taking Alvin Toffler´s definition of civilization from his book “The Third Wave”, we recognize three great eras that have given orientation to art, culture and living:

The Farming era
The Industrial revolution era
The Tecnological era

These three main eras are characterized in how they have established the relationship between Time and Place. During the agricultural era, the idea of place overrides the idea of time (by direct relationship between earth and natural cycles, the sense of belonging to an invariable space, of wich the “living quarters” is an archetypical example).

The industrial revolution introduces the time variable as the overruling agent. The natural cycles give way to serial production, an attribute off the machine. Factories spring out as a new architectural invention. Time takes the shape of planification, timetables, etc..

In our technological era, time concept tendes to disrigard the traditional living notion. Place and distance tend to dissappear, while tecnology allows new relations of simultaneity and instantaneity. Italo Calvino, in his book “Six propositions for the next millenium” gives a precise definition of these new instances:


The workshop investigates new forms of human settlement, understanding tecnology as a way that allows to live in almost any place of the earth and to be connected instantaneously. Related to this fact, new types of inhabitants might be subject of study.( like the third age people as a conseqence of longer life expectation, who realy don’t have place in actual cities)

1. Primarily, the workshop will develope a space matrix, from wich we could evolve possible ways of settlement in an abstract space, that disgards topografy an climate, in order to stablish an origin. Like a modern spanish conqeror, who brought an abstract model of city design based on geometrical squares ( taken from the romanic camps )

2. Which is our “Virtue”?

Once we answer this question, the workshop will build settling models generated by places where this “Virtue” can spring out. The workshop wants to investigate this way of having position an orientation in a contemporany form.

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