SAN CARLOS DE APOQUINDO CAMPUS DUOC FOUNDATION

Santiago, Chile

1997

SAN CARLOS DE APOQUINDO CAMPUS DUOC FOUNDATION

Santiago, Chile

1997

SAN CARLOS DE APOQUINDO CAMPUS DUOC FOUNDATION

Santiago, Chile

1997

The campus that houses the School of Communications run by Fundación DUOC UC, an institute of higher studies connected with Universidad Católica de Chile (Catholic University), stands in a new neighborhood known as San Carlos de Apoquindo, which rises at the eastern end of Santiago, between the farthest signs of urban development and the foothills of the Andes.
The land where this building is located, at the point of transition between natural surroundings and urban development, showed two distinctive features: the powerful presence of many hills rising in all their majesty, on the one hand, and on the other a periphery revealing a culture in the process of transformation. This evident change in social structure is reflected in a new esthetics of individuality.
The sheer magnitude and force of the natural setting sparked the idea of erecting a walled structure that would become a base and pedestal for the mountains. Accordingly, a stone base was built, strictly complementing the natural surroundings. The new paving surrounding the building adheres faithfully to the local topography, planes and steps closely following the sloping contour of the terrain.
The main feature of the building is a dense opaque block measuring 180 meters in length descending towards the valley, sheltering a protected interior, made dynamic by a curved, enfolding design. The continuous horizontal cornice serves as counterpoint to the rolling rocky masses of the nearby mountains. Inside, the front becomes lighter. Concrete beams and columns hold up the various horizontal levels of circulation in rhetorical harmony with the lower buildings in front, in addition to framing the mountain landscape that goes with you as you as the proceed along the arcades.
A garden was built on the roofs of these lower buildings, filling the interval between architecture and nature, extending to join the magnificent natural scenery, and creating a lighter leisure area to balance the built-over, more ´urban`, space created by the proximity of the facing constructions.
Given the absence of the city –understood in its historical sense- we found it interesting to built in such a way that while acknowledging and exalting the presence of nature, there would also be an inner space ready to receive the collective spirit. To this end, the distance between the facing buildings was regulated so as to create a continuous empty space admitting variations, here widening to form a small square, there narrowing to street width. The topological conditions of the project are best viewed while promenading. Steps have been laid out for walking and for stopping. This enclosed space to which all inner rooms lead concentrates the community life of the campus, evoking the spirit of a small citadel.
The program was resolved in two different sections as described above. The larger block houses classrooms and campus administration. The facing block contains the support programs and services, including audio and television studios, library, computer center, auditorium, coffee shop, and chapel.
The buildings are made entirely of unfaced concrete and prefab cement blocks. The colored material merges with the color of the rocks and mountains.

SAN CARLOS DE APOQUINDO CAMPUS DUOC FOUNDATION

Santiago, Chile

1997

Project: 1995
Construction: 1996-1997
Site area: 17.000 m2
Built area: 10.000 m2
Client: Fundación DUOC Universidad Católica
Architect: Cristián Undurraga, Ana Luisa Devés
Executive Director: Cristian Undurraga
Collaborators: Taller Undurraga Devés, Tania Ayoub, Juan Pablo Merino, Rodrigo Rojas, Juan Pablo Benavente, Marcos Araya, Gunter Peterson, Hernán Sánchez
Consultants: José Jiménez, Rafael Gática (estructura), Juan Grimm (paisajismo)
Contractor: Salfa