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ARQ (Santiago)

versión On-line ISSN 0717-6996

ARQ (Santiago)  no.94 Santiago dic. 2016 


Continuous Space

Cristóbal Palma1  1

1Director Mármol, Santiago, Chile.

Source: (c) Cristóbal Palma

Figure 1 Dos Caracoles. Sergio Larraín, Ignacio Covarrubias, Jorge Swinburn. Santiago, 1978 

Source: (c) Cristóbal Palma

Figure 2 Dos Caracoles. Sergio Larraín, Ignacio Covarrubias, Jorge Swinburn. Santiago, 1978 

Between 1974 and 1983, 46 commercial caracoles (spiral-shaped structures) were built in 19 Chilean cities. The experiment is perhaps one of the most interesting recent architectural phenomena and, at the same time, one of the most ignored by scholars .

This apparent lack of interest could be explained, partially at least, by the self-evident sense of failure that this research acquired over time. But perhaps the main reason why avoided is that - in a paradoxical, complex way - these caracoles face us with a tragic period for Chilean recent history. To perform this exercise through these seemingly banal structures does not seem to be the right path.

Source: (c) Cristóbal Palma

Figure 3 Caracol Unión Latinoamericana. José Sepúlveda, Eugenio Orellana. Santiago, 1979 

If the mall symbolizes the neoliberal city's first victory, the caracol seems to be the last evidence of an interrupted city, still expecting to be told what to do with itself.

"Espacio continuo" (Continuous space) is an attempt to take part in the conversation about the phenomenon of commercial caracoles in Chile through the cadaster and systematic recording of such structures.

Source: (c) Cristóbal Palma

Figure 4 Caracol Tres Palacios. N/A. Valparaíso, 1981 

Source: (c) Cristóbal Palma

Figure 5 Los Pájaros. Sergio Larraín, Ignacio Covarrubias, Jorge Swinburn. Santiago, 1982 

Source: (c) Cristóbal Palma

Figure 6 Edificio Caracol. N/A. Concepción, 1980 

Source: (c) Cristóbal Palma

Figure 7 Rombocol. Jaime Starocelzky. Osorno, 1980 

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