Dutch architects visit PRES Constitución works

Publicado el 06-11-2017

 Professionals of Architectura et Amicitia got an on-site tour of the Reconstruction Plan being implemented in the city of the Maule Region

A group of Dutch architects arrived at Constitución, in the Maule Region, to visit the signature works of the Sustainable Reconstruction Plan (PRES in Spanish) that is being developed in this city, such as the Municipal Library, the Cultural Center, the Villa Verde housing complex and the Municipality’s Town Hall.

The Plan, which was carried through by ARAUCO, the municipality of Constitución and the Government, including active community participation, aimed to build a better and safer city after the earthquake and tsunami devastated the area in 2010. Today, the plan’s execution shows 75% advancement, leaving behind a legacy of important buildings but also a successful method for public-private cooperation that enabled an unprecedented reconstruction effort in Chile.

The visitors are members of Architectura et Amicitia (AetA), an association of architects and professionals related to this field, which was established in 1855. Since then, the association has played an important role in the development of architecture in the Netherlands.

The ongoing purpose of AetA is to promote discussions on architecture, generate access to architectural works of interest, and promote contact between professional colleagues.

Bart Duvekot, one of the group’s members, explained that they chose Constitución as one of the professional tour destinations to learn more about the Sustainable Reconstruction Plan (PRES) and its works, which have been recognized nationally and abroad.

As shown by renowned architect Alejandro Aravena, head of architecture firm Elemental, who was recognized with the Pritzker Prize, the field’s highest award, in great measure for works designed for PRES, such as the Cultural Center and Villa Verde housing complex. Another award-winning PRES project is the Municipal Library, designed by architect Sebastián Irarrazabal. This building was internationally recognized during the Design & Building Awards for excellence in wood architecture, and went on to receive another award from the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Menno Ongering, another visiting architect from the Dutch group, highlighted the architectural design of the Plan’s works and valued the use of wood in construction, which he said, is also featured in many projects in Holland.

The busy tour schedule included visits to other works such as the River Mitigation Park and Tourist Stands, where they enjoyed viewing Constitución’s landscape and its impressive rocks which are part of a Nature Reserve

Architect and PRES Constitución technical coordinator Joel Barrera, served as tour guide for the international visitors. He said the AetA group showed interest and valued the buildings’ design, the use of wood in construction and the relationship of these works with the city of Constitución and its landscape.

Once the visit to Constitución ended, the group of European architects continued on their way to visit other cities included in their tour through Chile.