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ARQ (Santiago)

versión On-line ISSN 0717-6996

ARQ (Santiago)  no.106 Santiago dic. 2020 

Works & projects

Infinite Bench, Concepción, 2018

Ricardo Azócar-Ulloa1  2 

Carolina Catrón-Lazo3  4 

1 Profesor Invitado, Escuela de Arquitectura Universidad de Talca, Chile.

2 Profesor, Escuela de Arquitectura Universidad del Bío-Bío, Concepción, Chile.

3 Profesora Invitada, Escuela de Arquitectura Universidad de Talca, Chile.

4 Profesora, Escuela de Arquitectura Universidad del Bío-Bío, Concepción, Chile.


A circular bench occupies an area of a park without intervening it, surrounding some trees without enclosing them. Its own geometry makes sitting on its concave side the natural gesture, looking towards the trees, the bench itself, and the other people sitting on it. With no more fuss than its red color, this element shows a way in which architecture can coexist with vegetation instead of competing.

Keywords: coexistence; park; street furniture; community; project

Source: © Patricio Zeiss

Figure 1 

Infinite Bench is an installation developed for the Alejandro Merino Botanical Garden of the Enrique Molina Garmendia School in Concepción, whose objective is the revaluation and rehabilitation of this space, until now relegated to being the generous front garden of an emblematic building of the city. Because it is visible from the street, it is widely recognized for its scale and for the size of the trees it houses in a dense urban area, appearing like a small forest trapped in the city..

Source: © Patricio Zeiss

Figure 2 

Figure 3 Plan 

Figure 4 Bench isometric and use possibilities 

Figure 5 Detalle módulo y montaje 

A continuous circular bench with a diameter of 14 m was proposed for the rehabilitation, which consists of the systematic repetition of 67 wooden modules of trapezoidal base, in a stool-like manner, with an outer side of 61 cm long and an inner side of 57.5 cm. These were built with 2×3-inch slats, covering the surface with 1×5-inch boards. Each module was embedded in the natural terrain, trying to reach a useful height of 50 cm, and were also joined by their edges in order to form the expected circumference.

Source: © Patricio Zeiss

Figure 6 

The bench is only interrupted by the existing path, carefully settling among the trees to create a new classroom that blends into the landscape, in which classes, workshops and meetings between the students are expected to be held, reincorporating this place into the daily life of the school, also becoming an iconic object that makes this garden visible within the community of Concepción.

Figure 7 Site isometric. 

Source: © Patricio Zeiss

Figure 8 

Infinite Bench

Architects: Azócar Catrón

Contributors: Jorge Lazo, María Florencia Ormeño, Fernanda Pedreros

Location: Aníbal Pinto 31, Concepción, Chile

Client: Liceo Enrique Molina Garmendia

Construction: Eduardo Aburto, Guillermo Medina

Materials: Sawn and impregnated wood, brushed wood

Budget: US$ 2.500

Built area: 20 m2

Site area: 1.034 m2

Project year: 2018

Construction year: 2018

Photography: Patricio Zeiss

Visualizations: Azócar Catrón

Models: Azócar Catrón, Nicolás Becerra

Azócar Catrón

Architecture and urban planning practice and workshop based in Concepción. It was founded by Ricardo Azócar, (architect, Universidad del Bío-Bío, 2016) and Carolina Catrón (architect, Universidad del Bío-Bío, 2016). In 2016, it obtained the Revelation Work award from the Colegio de Arquitectos de Chile and, in 2018, its monograph Catalejo (Editorial Dostercios, 2017), obtained the First Prize of the XiV International Biennial of Architecture of Costa Rica. Its work has been exhibited at the XVi Venice Architecture Biennale “Freespace,” at the Xi Ibero-American Biennial of Architecture and Urbanism, at the Arc en Rêve Center D’architecture in Bordeaux, among others.

During 2019, its Infinite Bench project obtained the Distinguished Work award at the XXI Biennial of Architecture and Urbanism of Chile, and in 2020 it obtained a Mention in the category of international built work at the VII International Biennial of Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

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