School of Architecture, UTFSM

Valparaiso, Chile
1,850 sq m (20,000 sq ft)
Universidad Tecnica Frederico Santa Maria


The task was to strategize and invent the spatial and programmatic requirements for a new architecture school that would lead to a new academic model and a laboratory for ideas. As a design strategy we developed an evolutionary platform capable of catalyzing the unpredictable actions within the architecture school’s everyday culture into generative opportunities. The building deliberately deploys the idea of incompleteness as an essential invitation for ongoing interpretation and subsequent actualizations through students and faculty. The envelope acts as condenser for studio spaces, computer lab, exhibition, event, hangout spaces and ramps. Having basically no mechanical systems the building relies solely on passive climate controls, such as the suspended ramp that doubles up as a brise-soleil, main social space and connector.

The project needed to be integrated into a UN heritage protected campus, yet convey a strong sense of contemporary architecture. We did so by establishing a dialogue between old and new and translate the values of the past into the future. The project was subsequently lauded by the heritage comission for its capacity to have strenghtenend and not weakend the heritage context.

The project was delivered with 11 month from schematic design to completion, on budget.