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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Colegio San Francisco Javier in Puerto Montt, Chile by Martín Hurtado Arquitectos Asociados

 
May 29th, 2013 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Martín Hurtado Arquitectos Asociados

The San Francisco Javier School is an institution related to the Compañía de Jesus, which founded this school around 1850, in the center of the emerging city of Puerto Montt. It was in fact the first church and parish, and part of its facilities are now a National Monument. The development and densification of the center, and the transfer of its inhabitants to residential areas in new neighborhoods on the outskirts of the city, forced the relocation of the school. This new building is located in the heart of high Pelluhue, a new residential district located east of the city.

Image Courtesy © Leonardo Finotti

  • Architects: Martín Hurtado Arquitectos Asociados
  • Project: Colegio San Francisco Javier
  • Location: Puerto Montt, Chile
  • Photography: Leonardo Finotti
  • Collaborators: Raimundo Arteaga, Sebastián Erazo, Iván Salas, Andrés Suarez.
  • Technical Advisors: Constructor: DLP/ Calculista Hormigones: Jorge Gonzalez Narbona, RG Ingenieros / Calculista Madera Laminada: Mario Wagner/ Inspección Técnica: POCH / Eficiencia energética: AMPI / Madera Laminada: INGELAM / Inst. Sanitarias: Tefra / Inst. Eléctricas: Ingelpo. / Climatización: AMPI / Corrientes Débiles: Sixbell  / Equipos Iluminación: LED Studio /  Paisajismo: Francisca Prieto, Paula Rodriguez
  • Site Area: 9 Há
  • Built Area: 27.224,59 m2
  • Project: 2007
  • Construction: 2009-2011
  • Construction System: Estructura: Madera Laminada y Hormigón Armado / Muros: Hormigón Armado, hormigón celular, tabiquerías de madera y volcometal/ Pavimentos: Radier Pulido, alfombras alto tráfico, parquet en gimnasios / Cielos: o.s.b, cielo falso americano/ Cubierta:  Zincalum emballetado/ Revestimientos: Fibrocemento tinglado y piedra pizarra (exterior), o.s.b (interior).

Image Courtesy © Leonardo Finotti

After a private competition, we were assigned the development of a complex programme that  included both the current programme of the school, and new programmes that should allow a building to last for 150 years. We were to project facilities and enclosures needed to house the educational environment of a school that aims to be leader and embrace the new forms and future of education.Places, spaces, technologies, venues and programmes, many of them unknown today should be housed by a consistent architectural body .

Image Courtesy © Leonardo Finotti

Problem Approach

A similar problem, we thought, might have had The first Jesuits who arrived in America, because its facilities and buildings were to endure and stand the test of time as witnesses of a mission that was not to hesitate on affirming certain values in which they firmly believed. Studying the settlement patterns of these buildings, we found a number of topics that were repeated in each of their missions. These works are part of what has been called the “American Baroque” style, which is basically a “synthesis” between the European Greco Latino Christian and American local indigenous cultures.

Image Courtesy © Leonardo Finotti

What do the Jesuit missions Chiquitanía, Chiloé o Paraná have in common? Simple rules and will of order in a chaotic and scattered world. The systematic foundation of religious sites in missions or reductions aimed at evangelizing  those thousands of unbelieving souls.

Image Courtesy © Leonardo Finotti

Architecturally, we discovered certain patterns like the use of spatial ordering structures of Greco Roman origin as are the buildings around enclosed courtyards, the use of ortogonal regular patterns that are superimposed on an American inhospitable limitless soil, the construction of an horizontal base on which buildings have strict order on blocks and yards which measure and construct protected interiors, mostly classical architecture language elements, (probably influenced by architectural treatises published at the same time, such as Jacopo Vignola, basis of the Church of Gesu in Rome)

Image Courtesy © Leonardo Finotti

The original 1859 school recreates this same spirit, but in a different context.After the expulsion of the Jesuits of America in 1757, a second mission of evangelization comes to cooperate in establishing a growing demand for German settlers who arrived in the area from mid-nineteenth century in need of Christian education for their children.

Image Courtesy © Leonardo Finotti

These priests, also educated in the classical techniques of woodworking, raise a church and a building to house the fledgling school with a model that follows several of the patterns of their missionarie ancestors .

Image Courtesy © Leonardo Finotti

The new school Project was founded with the idea of rescuing these patterns as:
Building a socket over the top of the hill, a new floor to house all the facilities of the school. Over this the whole programme is available in a large building, a single body with multiple parts arranged to surround a single large central courtyard  protected from wind.

Image Courtesy © Leonardo Finotti

A construction with local techniques and materials; a modular system that would allow easy growth by stages; woodwork; an architectural unit with multiple parts; a classroom single width volume with a closed corridor gallery to protect from climate.  Everything around a large interior space as a cloister surrounded by buildings, forming a protected courtyard.

Image Courtesy © Leonardo Finotti

hythmic window treatment based on the golden ratio, continuous outer envelope  to protect against rain and wind, compact building with ease of heating, outer resources  formal austerity and richly detailed interiors, etc.. All of these form a unitary body that dominates the skyline of the future residential neighborhood of Puerto Montt.

Image Courtesy © Leonardo Finotti

Image Courtesy © Leonardo Finotti

Image Courtesy © Leonardo Finotti

Image Courtesy © Leonardo Finotti

Image Courtesy © Leonardo Finotti

Image Courtesy © Leonardo Finotti

Image Courtesy © Leonardo Finotti

Image Courtesy © Leonardo Finotti

Image Courtesy Martín Hurtado Arquitectos Asociados

Image Courtesy Martín Hurtado Arquitectos Asociados

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