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ARQ (Santiago)

versión On-line ISSN 0717-6996

ARQ (Santiago)  n.67 Santiago dic. 2007 

ARQ, n. 67 Concursos de arquitectura / Architectural competitions, Santiago, december, 2007, p. 9.




Montserrat Palmer T.

Ediciones ARQ Editor in Chief, Facultad de Arquitectura, Diseño y Estudios Urbanos, Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile.


According to records kept by Chile’s Colegio de Arquitectos for 2000-2006, there were a total of 37 public architectural competitions in the country during that period, including 11 for students and lighting specialists (the Philips competition) and 26 for professional architects, an average of fewer than four public architectural competitions a year, not counting invitational competitions that call on well-qualified -or sometimes not so well qualified- architectural firms.
Strong professional organizations capable of influencing public opinion are essential in ensuring good performance by professionals whose job is presumably to improve the quality of life (doctors, engineers, attorneys and others, as well as architects). Chile’s years of dictatorship affected universities and professional organizations in all fields. Our profession suffered more than others, perhaps because its history as an occupation based on university training is not as long a one. We are accustomed to hearing remarks on the high average level of Spanish architecture. But less notice is taken of the numerous public competitions that produce that country’s fine auditoriums, municipal buildings, sports centers, housing complexes, and so on.
This issue features two competitions sponsored by the Colegio de Arquitectos de Chile. Both evoked fine response and participation, and rather different results. The competition for the new Liceo Alemán, which had very well formulated rules led to a fine result. The rules of the Santiago College competition, on the other hand, though copious, lacked focus, and left the final verdict in the hands of the school’s board without any architect participating at that stage of the process. It proved very difficult to explain to the competitors’ representative why a proposal that garnered the votes of six of the seven architects on the jury was relegated to second place, while no winner was chosen.
A strong professional architectural organization is an indispensable presence, and a number of attempts have been made.
Let us persevere!.


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