At present Chilean architecture is living a moment of world-wide recognition. Awards as the recent Pritzker granted to Alejandro Aravena, and buildings as Smiljan Radic’s pavilion designed for the Serpentine Gallery in London, have located the work of this country at an international showcase.
The origin of this phenomenon is mainly generated by the consolidation of a group of architects from the generation that starts its professional life at the beginning of the 90s.
At that time diverse factors were met which generated the actual situation; a strong and stable economy within the Latin American context, plus the return of democracy and political stability. This established an ideal context to start working on new development projects, in a country that opened itself to the world and grew at accelerated rhythm.
At the beginning, the work of the architects was principally determined by the strong real-estate market and the assignments of single-family houses of the highest socio-economical stratum, then starting to generate the first Chilean architecture apparitions in the global editorial industry.
But it was mainly since the year 2000 on, when the local architecture took transcendence at an urban level, when great contests and institutional commissions were generated, enhancing the development of new public spaces and the recovery of emblematic buildings.
Projects like GAM, cultural center at the full center of Santiago, designed by the office Lateral and Cristián Fernández, are representative of a Chilean architect’s generation who got involved with the role of the architect as planner and executor of new urban spaces and buildings that open accesses to culture within the city.
All this Chilean architectural activity finds today in Santiago its principal experimental area, the future of this capital has a good character, charming its inhabitants and visitors, who observe how day by day architecture is gaining space and understanding its fundamental role in the development of this capital, at the foothills of the Andes Mountain Range.
Text by Diego Baloian | MASSANTIAGO
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