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The Ochagavia Hospital Case

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. However, in the Pedro Aguirre Cerda commune 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 building and its immediate surroundings were subject of a design case that  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 is an example 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 it’s surroundings respond to this logic of landscape building.

The design proposal 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 proposal describes several steps by which the building and its surrounding area are progressively intervened in, adapted and recovered, for and with the community. For each development step programs are proposed for the use of the recovered space. These include sports, cultural events and community centers.

The context research for this project was documented in a book. The design proposal was presented at Design Academy Graduation Show with a 2 by 2 meter architectural model, high definition renders, and a mural painted in situ for the occasion.