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ARQ (Santiago)

versión On-line ISSN 0717-6996

ARQ (Santiago)  no.92 Santiago abr. 2016 


Performing Arts Hall
Santiago, Chile, 2010 - 2015


Smiljan Radic *(1)

*Professor, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile.


Declaring a building as heritage assumes that a property is exceptional enough to be protected (i.e., excluded from the dynamics of urban renewal). Such a legal exception, however, often sentences a building to ruin by preventing any possible operation on it. In this case, paradoxically, the deterioration itself generated by the declaration allowed almost complete renovation of the building, enabling a truly exceptional project.

Keywords: heritage, recovery, theater, Santiago, Chile.

Aerial view of original site
© Smiljan Radic

Aerial view of completed building
© Smiljan Radic

Isometric of the complex
N. S.
Legend: 1. Nave; 2. Cité Yungay.

The project for this experimental arts hall proposes an emptying operation, in which the same municipal regulations that halted the building’s renovation and brought on its current disrepair are used to our advantage. The facade is the only structure that remained intact after the fire in 2006 and the earthquake in 2010. These disasters opened up the interior and erased forever the remains of eight houses that had occupied the site.

The project totally empties the property, reproducing the original facade until it is complete in every detail, making it a sort of friendly disguise. The city can be seen from inside through the gaps, forming part of the backdrop for some of the events.

Floor plan level 0,00 m
Published scale 1: 500

Floor plan level +3,75 m
Published scale1: 500

Floor plan level +10,14 m.
Published scale1: 500

Isometric Yungay.
N. S.

Nave Model
© Gonzalo Puga


Few structural elements touch the ground on the first floor: the lift, a staircase and the support wall for mobile tiers. The pathway for the theatralized audience hangs from a center girder and culminates on the roof-terrace, proposed for a popular circus. Everything seems to have been measured from above. The circus is the first, the most primitive and the most austere place imaginable for shows. A strange objet trouvé, a long way from its home, will appear above the theatre; a source of delight for the neighborhood. The rehearsal rooms, offices and services occupy other houses in the complex, turning the entire building as it stands into a new internally interrelated organism.

South Elevation.
Published scale 1: 500

West Elevation.
Published scale 1: 500

AA Section.
Published scale 1: 500

BB Section.
Published scale 1: 500

CC Section.
Published scale 1: 500

Nave interior.
© Cristóbal Palma

Nave interior.
© Cristóbal Palma

Architect: Smiljan Radic / Collaborators: Eduardo Castillo, Danilo Lazcano, Patricio Alvarado, Alejandro Lüer / Location: Libertad 410, Santiago, Chile / Client: Fundación Patrimonio Creativo / Structural engineering : ByB Ingeniería Estructural Ltda. / Materials: Reinforced Concrete / Built surface: 1.770 m² / Site surface: 1.270 m² / Project year: 2010-2014 / Construction year: 2015

1. Smiljan Radic | Architect, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, 1989. Studies in Architectural History at the Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia and in Design at the Istituto Andrea Palladio in Vicenza. His work has been widely published and exhibited internationally. He has lectured in Mexico, Spain, Norway, Austria, Japan and USA. In 2001 was awarded Best Chilean architect under 35 years by the Colegio de Arquitectos de Chile. In 2008 achieves the Architectural Record’s Design Vanguard Award and in 2009 is appointed honorary member of the American Institute of Architects. In 2013 was summoned to design the 2014 pavilion for the Serpentine Gallery in London. He currently works with the sculptress Marcela Correa.

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