The course

Scarcity and Creativity in Latitude 34S Building in Pumanque, Chile  Semester 1
Course code H13AS8
Department Institute of Architecture
Professor in charge Professor Michael U. Hensel, Professor Christian Hermansen, Assistant Professor Solveig Sandnes
Additional staff  Architect Joakim Hoen and Architect Haakon Matre Aaserød
Prerequisities Completed the first three years of architectural education. Preference of students committing themselves to the entire length of the studio, two semesters, although each semester can be taken independently.
Familiarity of Rhino software.
Instruction language English
Max. no. of students 24
ECTS credits 24

The Context
The Scarcity and Creativity in Latitude 34s Studio has been invited to build in the town of Pumanque, central Chile. The town has 3500 inhabitants and lies 150 kilometres south-west of Santiago. Founded in the XVII century as the seat of a large country estate the town has a rich colonial heritage which was heavily damaged by the earthquake which occurred at 03:34 am on February 27, 2010, and which destroyed many of the houses and their external corridors which lined the town’s streets. About 80% of homes suffered some kind of damage. The quake did not make exceptions, also destroying the church of Our Lady of the Rosary and the Municipality. (see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7dh2X16AU8)
Shortly after the earthquake a non-profit organisation, whose members are recent graduates and university students, called Chile a Soñar (Chile, let’s dream!) together with numerous volunteers, moved into Pumanque with the purpose of helping the ravaged town. Their voluntary work is conducted during their holidays and consists mostly of community organisation: work with children, crafts workshops, fund raising, and to help in whatever way they can. To get more information on Chile a Soñar see:
Website: http://www.chileasoñar.cl
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Chile-a-So%C3%B1ar/196208527128214
Twitter: @chileaso
Members and volunteers of Chile a Soñar work in Pumanque only during their holidays and at those times there are always public buildings that are not being used and thus available for their activities. However, once the holidays are over these buildings revert back to their normal use, and thus the activities which Chile a Soñar have initiated do not have a base where they can continue being of service to the community. What Chile a Soñar needs is a multi-purpose community hall which remains open during the whole of the year and where the community can continue with the activities which Chile a Soñar has introduced.
Since our meetings with Chile a Soñar in February 2013 they have been in contact with community organisers and the Mayor of Pumanque to seek their support and agreement that this is a worthy project and which the Municipality would support. The Mayor has said that he fully backed this project and he would ensure that the site and necessary building permits would be in place when the Oslo studio arrived to start building.

Learning outcomes

Learn about the relation between designing a building and then having to build it.

Experience the relationship between scarcity and creativity in architectural design which is geared to building.

Learn about construction materials and techniques.

Learn about designing for a different cultural setting and climate.

Learn to balance architectural design ambitions with a limited budget.

Learn how to interact with clients and future users of the building.

Learn how to work in teams to achieve the common goals.

Content and development: The objective of the first semester will be the design of the community centre building.

A preliminary study of a building by a Chilean architect in Chile which will aid in the architectural design work related to the projects envelope.
Step one: Site visit: approx. for one month, the studio will organise the visit and the logistics surrounding it. The students will also visit the site to the building chosen for the precedent study and for arranging an interview of the architect.
Building design. One to one student teacher contact in the studio, discussions based on student production followed by critical comments and references to building studies.
The preparation of a blog describing student work will be discussed in the studio based on the work produced by each student and referenced to previous examples of architectural work blogs.

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