a+u 2020:03 Architecture in Chile – In Search of a New Identity
Located at the “end of the world,” Chile’s idyllic landscapes create a perfect canvas for Chilean architects to express poetry in their architecture. To many, it is the utopian holiday homes that brought Chilean architecture into the international scene, and examples of these houses were previously featured in a+u 06:07 and in this issue, the House for the Poem of the Right Angle (see pp. 24–33) and Loba House (see pp. 44–51). Following 2010, however, we begin to see a different group of architects looking into less individualistic visions. Guided by a moral compass, they engage with the public or take up non-profit projects – Ruca Dwellings (see pp. 120–123) and Gabriela Mistral Cultural Center (see pp. 138–145) – that focus on social and sustainable issues which came to a halt during times of oppression. In an introductory essay, Diego Grass, an architect and tutor at Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, shares with us his insights into Chilean architecture since the 1990s. He describes how having gone through years of persistent domestic unrest, the country seeks to forge a new cultural identity that would bring a divided Chile together. 18 projects are selected in this issue to broaden our perspectives into architecture found in Chile, and the many ways these architects respond to its landscapes and urban territories.