Deconstructing architecture into urban topography and public space.

Public Space in Santiago de Chile is scarce. Due to its constant expansion, a city like Santiago has very few unused spaces.
In the case of the Pedro Aguirre Cerda commune, however, a massive building has been abandoned for over forty years: The Ochagavia Hospital, a building meant to be the biggest hospital in Latin America. Due to political turmoil it was never put into use.
This design project focuses on the recovery of the abandoned space contained by the building and its direct surroundings, with active collaboration of the community of La Victoria. This community with its muralist painter brigades are examples of cohesion, organization and social engagement.
The building resembles a topographic feature due to its scale, and was treated accordingly in the design process. Interventions in the building and its surroundings respond to this logic of Landscape building. It includes partial demolition of the building in order to reduce its massive spatial impact on the surroundings and to obtain material to reshape the landscape.
The design proposal consists of four steps by which the building and its surrounding area are progressively intervened in, adapted and recovered, for and with the community.
 In each design step programs are proposed for the use of the recovered space. These include sports, cultural events and community centers.
 This process creates points in time for the community to decide to continue with the next step or to maintain the current situation.

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El Elefante Blanco (The White Elephant) by Felipe Egaña Kaulen. 2012