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ARQ (Santiago)

versión On-line ISSN 0717-6996

ARQ (Santiago)  no.104 Santiago abr. 2020 

Works & projects

Outside the Law

ARCADA Colectivo, Santiago, Chile


A series of regulations and ordinances are consciously disobeyed by this intervention. Its transgressive character, however, was overcome by the events of October 18, 2019, in Chile, which even led the government to declare a state of constitutional exception, that is, a temporary suspension of the rule of law. Thus, both this project and the political context that determined it, open the same question: to what extent can a temporary intervention have permanent consequences?

Keywords: laws; building; transgression; Biennial; project

Source: © Gerardo Bambach, Daniel Rodríguez

Figure 1 

Source: © Gerardo Bambach, Daniel Rodríguez

Figure 2 

ARCADA carried out an architectural intervention in a heritage building that, in order to be executed within the stipulated period of one week, had to operate ‘outside the law.’ But, what is the law? Does it have enough validity today? Laws, ordinances, regulations, provisions, patents, damages and losses, permits, approvals, receptions and requests: a string of documents and endless pages that favor the interests of intangible characters and that were impossible to uphold by the newcomer ARCADA boys. The idea was simple: a party for the biennale-monkeys of the XXI Biennial of Architecture and Urbanism, accessed from the street through a window on the first floor and guided by a 22-meter linear element. The intervention criterion was only one: to demolish anything opposing the direct connection between the street and the patio, any pre-existence of the heritage building challenging the intention of transposing the interior and the exterior, the public and the private.

Figure 3 Site plan. S. 1: 1.000 

Source: Gerardo Bambach, Daniel Rodríguez

Figure 4 

Figure 5 Longitudinal section AA. S. 1: 200 

To avoid Kafkian accounts of this process, we will only list the main crimes committed: violation of the official line and the building line provided by the Santiago Municipal Ordinance; violation of the General Law of Urban Planning and Construction in its articles 105, 116, 118; violation of Traffic Law 18.290 in its article 165; violation of the General Planning and Construction Ordinance in its article 2.7.1., Chapter II, Title II; transgression to NCh3332 Of.2013 for patrimonial intervention on land.

Figure 6 North elevation. S. 1: 200 

Figure 7 Plan. S. 1: 200 

Everything would end abruptly on October 18th, the day of the party. That night, President Piñera established, through the signing of Supreme Decree No. 472, a State of Constitutional Emergency. Thus, under the mandate of the General of Division Javier Iturriaga del Campo, freedom of assembly and transportation were restricted in the provinces of Santiago and Chacabuco. Less than fifty people arrived at the party. On Instagram, they watched the subway stations burn, waiting for the impending curfew.

Figure 8 Isometric. N. S. 

Source: © Gerardo Bambach

Figure 9 


Architects: ARCADA

Contributors: Thomas Busch, Gonzalo Subiabre, Julia Bustamante, Jerónimo Murillo, Caterina Cameli, Sergio Fuenzalida, Martín Lira, Alejandro Reyes

Location: Roberto Espinoza 1906, Santiago, Chile

Client: XXI Bienal de Arquitectura y Urbanismo de Chile; Manduca

Structural calculation: David Quezada

Construction: Gerardo Bambach

ighting, sound design, and other specialties: Daniel Rodríguez

Materials: Dressed radiata pine (2 × 2", 1 × 4", 1 × 10") and welded steel frames 50 × 30 mm

Built area: 13,2 m2

Site area: 275 m2

Project year: 2019

Construction year: 2019

Photography: Tomás Bravo, Gonzalo Subiabre, Daniel Rodríguez y Gerardo Bambach


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Ley 18.290. Ley de Tránsito. Diario Oficial de la República de Chile: Santiago, Chile, 7 de noviembre de 2009. [ Links ]

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