The puzzle of rural Chile

Niki May Young
Wednesday 23 Jul 2008

Wooden jigsaw design pieces path out the Chilean countryside

Landmark, a work by unknown architects-in-training R. Hernández, M. Valdés y O. Véliz is the final work of their Architect´s diploma from the School of Architecture, Universidad de Talca in Chile.

The pair were involved in all phases from design and management to the final build of work of architecture which contributes to the public, as was the criteria.

Landmark traces a route through the coastal mountain range which runs along the Pacific Ocean on the west, and the Central Valley on the east, using existing ancient paths that are the only infrastructure for connectivity in this area called Drylands. 7 modules are built along the route, each of them performing as a device for orientation and resting areas for tourists. A landmark is created through the presence of each module, located in points where the route changes, or crosses a path, defining a new territory.

Beyond being a guide, each landmark creates conditions for a short rest, gives the tourist the possibility to get in touch with people living in the sorroundings, and defines a sort of public space for those people to meet.

The material used for the modules is selected in a way to give back to the region the wood that is produced through forestry in the area. The wood used is reclaimed leftovers from industries located in the sorroundings which would otherwise be used to fire up the heaters.

The dimension of the pieces, the largest being 50 cm long, is taken as a condition for design. Thus, the structure of the box (named as Bräckzen), is shaped as an irregular web, built out of small wooden modules no longer than 16 cm length. In all, 3300 small modules were used to build the structures.

Jose Luis Uribe

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