Elemental Chile

Santiago, Chile

This competition entry for low cost housing in Santiago is part of ongoing research in urban pattern and modular construction. The competitors were asked to produce 40 square meter units with the potential for expansion of the individual unit to 100 square meters. In addition 100 units of parking were required in the site plan. Standard logic suggested stacking the units in an alternating pattern that could be filled in to eventually complete a standard run of row houses.

In our research we found prefabricated units that were being produced in the region. These units might be arranged to produce a more complex matrix of courtyards and semi-public spaces, breaking up the scale of the super block.

The units rest on concrete walls that define an area for an open market, ground floor retail and outdoor gardens. The organization produces a variety of unit types and local adjacencies that extend the unit into outdoor spaces. The courtyard spaces that result recall indigenous patterns of use.