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Abandoned Territories | Chile

Part 2 Project 2008
Andrew Mcewan
Martin Tarnawski
Eilidh Henderson
University of Strathclyde | UK
Abandoned Territories is the synthesis of process and context creating architecture, new renewable energy and industry for the future. Our aim was to develop a sustainable productive territory through the implementation of an opportunity strategy which reacts to the context, geography, climate, social dynamic, infrastructure and local vernacular whilst reinterpreting, reusing and reinventing the way in which this unique formation of landscape and man made interventions is used.

Abandoned Territories is a culmination of a 6 month exchange to Santiago, Chile. Whilst embarking on our thesis we became intrigued by this geographically rich and varied country. Understanding how the country operated on a social, economic and industrial level was key to the project. The project intends to increase the employment rate, balance national population, increase connectivity, introduce new and a diverse range of industries, produce power on a local and national scale, combating the country’s energy crises, and create various sensitive new settlements. Investigation into a series of locations within our chosen territory, the Atacama, allowed us to extract and utilise the latent potential of the context to promote new interventions and visions. Each of these five architectural solutions are fragments of an overall strategy for a sustainable productive territory in Region II, Chile.

The diverse landscapes of the Atacama are rich in natural resources, with each unique contextual setting becoming an opportunity for Chile to utilise, develop and investigate technologies which would allow the territory to become self sufficient. The five conceptual interventions are context driven, their forms derived from process and an innate understanding of urban typologies. By harnessing the identified and investigated resources of solar, geothermal, wind, wave, bio and algae fuels a sustainable and diverse network of renewable energy sources can be created. Five fragments or interventions were envisaged at varying sites from the Pacific coast in the west to the Andean Mountain range in the East to create a closed loop, strategically and metaphorically.

Andrew Mcewan
Martin Tarnawski
Eilidh Henderson

The project ‘Abandoned Territories’ builds on a 50 year exploratory architectural tradition of the Strathclyde University School of Architecture. Bolstered now by enthusiastic support for global student exchange schemes, the post graduate work more than ever explores trans-national issues of how we should shape our social and economic work environments with limited means.

This project in choosing as its focus, the isolated northern extremity of the Chilean Pacific Rim has been able to explore and propose a series of archetypal urban propositions serving populations largely gathered to serve mono functional industrial and mining industry.

The resulting series of suggestions for the Pacific edge, Andean foothills, and desert explore the means by which energy, water and food production can shape urban form whilst still retaining a sense of human dignity and tradition in an otherwise hostile, and in places, anarchic setting. These ‘fragments’ of the wider strategy inventively traverse between place and function, creating a new poetry which harmonises with the unmistakable beauty of the region.

This project led by Eilidh Henderson, Andrew McEwan and Martin Tarnawski is a worthy carrier of the Strathclyde University vision.

Mr Alan Pert
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