Text description provided by the architects. The relation between a building and its immediate context is a constant and ever present factor in architectural design. Sometimes you go for mimicry, integrating into the building the geometry and materials as a respectful nod to the surroundings. Others, you may seek to stand out, highlighting your differences and to explore new ideas.
The request to design a student building situated in the middle of the city’s historic center pushed us to look for a balance between both positions, aiming to find a solution that was both contemporary to the youth and respectful to the place.
We decided to explore further than the immediate surroundings and took inspiration from the buildings in the close civic neighborhood of Paseo Bulnes, abstracting their general shape into elements of base, body and crown to be applied in the design.
Once the general shape of the building was decided, it was combined with modern systems and materials, looking for balance. With this in mind, we chose to clad the building with contrasting metal panels with a black monolithic background with wooden accents.
In essence, the juxtaposition of historic geometry and proportions with new materials and technologies allowed the project to set itself as a blend of different times, reminiscent of contemporary design and XX century Chilean architecture.