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ARQ (Santiago)

versión On-line ISSN 0717-6996

ARQ (Santiago)  no.93 Santiago ago. 2016 




Taller de Formación y Representación I *

* Escuela de Arquitectura, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. 1st semester 2016, Santiago, Chile.


The same system used for founding cities and starting a building –the layout– is used as an educational tool to initiate undergraduate architecture students. In this way drawing on the ground arises as the foundational act, not only for the building but also for the city and for the architect itself.

Keywords: layout, ground, plan, pedagogy, analogous city.


It is only in the layout where the three-dimensional will of the project intersects with its two-dimensional drawing. In ancient cities, this activity was a sacred act previously validated by the Augures. In Rome, for instance, this action was made by plowing, breaking the ground’s surface into a subtle topography. The current way of layout, using lime, is done by drawing on the ground without the shuddering or reliefs of Roman plow.

From this idea a collective exercise of layout was proposed to first-year students, that is, those who are just discovering the world of architecture and university’s customs. In this introductory task the presence of a remarkable building, the reading of its plan, the strategies for their transfer, the secrets of geometry and the tricks of measures acted together. Students did not know it, but they would likely come across again with the laying out only once they finished their studies.

Excercise 1
© Diego Pinochet

© Macarena Burdiles

The place for the activity had been part of the runways system of the old airport in Cerrillos. This perfect tabula rasa allowed to simultaneously draw the set of 24 buildings on a single surface, creating complicities and associations between pieces that would have never converged: the thermal baths in Vals by Peter Zumthor and the Sainte-Chapelle; the monumental portico of the Le Corbusier’s Unite d’Habitation in Marseille and Venice Hospital’s chapel by Guillermo Jullian; Santa Maria della Salute by Longhena and the Gallinero House by Eduardo Castillo, building a strange city made of assorted parts and different scales whose plan could be walked and measured with steps, bringing the contrast between reality and speculation to an unusual convergence.

Then the possibility to develop a second action came up, arranging the studio’s projects according to a grid of 20 × 20 meters inspired by the patios of Santiago’s General Cemetery. Organized according to a prearranged grid, the layout of these fifty patios converged in an ‘analogous city’ of individual proposals. If unforeseen encounters were evident in the previous operation, now the dimension of the whole complex was guarded by shared principles and parameters, offering a field of dimensional checks that is unusual in an academic studio.

The layout, this turning point between the volumetric fate of the project and the horizontality of the ground, has a remarkable analogy in ruin where the entropy of matter returned to the soil its original condition. Indeed, between drawing and ruin the whole story of a project is contained.

Saint Chapelle layout. Paris, France, 13rd century.
© Diego Pinochet

Handmade layout.
© Emilio De la Cerda, Macarena Burdiles

Professors: Rodrigo Pérez de Arce, Emilio De la Cerda, Osvaldo Larraín, Macarena Burdiles, Francisco Chateau, Leonardo Suárez, Martín Labbé, Gonzalo Valencia / Teaching Assistants: Nicolás Lira, Alberto Contreras, Clarita Reutter, Sebastián Marchant, Juan Ramón Samaniego, Micaela Maccioni / Acknowledgments: Estudiantes de Taller 1 del primer semestre del 2016, Estudios Suricato y Ciudad Parque Bicentenario, SERVIU, Región Metropolitana / Text: Rodrigo Pérez de Arce

Excercise 1
© Diego Pinochet

Drawn Buildings:

Large Scale
1. Santa María de la Salute, Baldassare Longhena, 1631-1681
2. Capilla Hospital de Venecia, Guillermo Jullian, 1965-1969
3. Restorán Mestizo, Smiljan Radic, 2007
4. Capilla monasterio Los Benedictinos, Martín Correa y Gabriel Guarda, 1964
5. Sainte Chapelle Paris, 1242-1248
6. Teatro Olímpico de Vicenza, Andrea Palladio, 1580
7. Termas de Vals, Peter Zumthor, 1996
8. Torres Siamesas, Santiago, Alejandro Aravena y Ricardo Torrejón, 2003-2005
9. Unidad Habitacional de Marsella, Le Corbusier, 1957

Small Scale
a. Casa Loubejac, Guillermo Jullian, 1994
b. Casa Pirque, Cristián Valdés, 1990
c. Casa Poli, Coliumo, Pezo Von Ellrichshausen, 2005
d. Casa de Música, Ritoque, Alberto Cruz y Juan Purcell, 1972
e. Casa Peña, Colina, Miguel Eyquem,1982
f. Capilla La Candelaria, San Pedro, Arturo Baeza, 1962
g. Restaurante Cap Ducal, Viña del Mar, Roberto Dávila, 1936
h. Casa Meneses, Santiago, Juan Borchers, Isidro Suarez, Jesús Bermejo, 1965
i. Casa Errazuriz, Zapallar, Le Corbusier, 1930
j. Casa Gallinero, Eduardo Castillo, Camino Bulnes, 2000
k. Casa Reyes, Santiago, Jaime Sanfuentes, 1965
l. Casa Leme, Sao Paulo, Paulo Mendes da Rocha, 1970
m. Casa das Canoas, Rio de Janeiro, Oscar Niemeyer, 1951
n. Casa Rivera Kahlo, Ciudad de México, Juan O’Gorman, 1932
ñ. Casa Alorda, Rosario, Jorge Scrimaglio, 1968-1973
o. Balneario Jau, Villanova Artigas, 1975 

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