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Talca - Chile



Lead Architects

Sebastian Contreras


60 m2

Project Year







Operations for a Brick Social Housing Project. 

Patio House. A typology for everyone.



Facing the economic housing, has to do with how the variables are articulated, quantity of houses, location and value of construction (architecture and urbanization), in order to deliver as a result a decent house, with possibilities of expansion, in that dynamic sense that does not devalue over time.

The cases that one observes in Chile are diverse in their typological resolutions. Isolated houses, blocks of buildings, groups of houses are some of the models that, fortunately or unfortunately, seek to respond to a real need in a concrete way. At the same time, the demand expects to obtain decent, expandable housing that generates community, roots and urban equity, but on the contrary, in most cases we observe peripheral densification, eradication and overcrowding.


To solve the crossroads of economic housing, we have re-articulated the equation so that the project result is a community densification and not only a densified grouping of houses. We believe that this search is not only solved through the grouping of houses, but rather in the articulation of sustainable communities that dynamically dialogue between the economy, ecology and equity.

To achieve this we have taken a square lot of 81 m2, in which two houses are built around a courtyard that we have called community asset.


The courtyard in the house dates back several centuries and began with man's need to have nature inside his house. This architectural typology allows us to generate spaces of expansion, to propitiate spatial articulations and social relations, as well as to sustain the house both in its ventilation system and in its natural lighting.


We understand in this sense that the patio is not only a space that promotes recreational programs, but at the same time as a place of vegetation, agricultural production, storage, ventilation, security, lighting, exchange, social relationship, heritage evocation, family economy, and above all that motivates participation and sustainable action.             

In order to achieve real agreements within urban communities, the groups that make them up should not be very numerous, but rather limited so that the recognition, in this case of the neighbor, can take place through knowledge. In this way the project builds communities of two houses around patios of 36 m2 or four houses around 72 m2. We believe that this number of groupings favours an active dialogue in the construction of a community city. Even so we have thought that this place must be delivered open to the city and that the owners of each community, in common agreement, decide, first its vocation and in response to this if this should be closed or continue to dialogue directly with the city.

The houses, located in the form of L around the patio, I have inscribed within a grid of 9x3, have been projected as equitable as possible, thus leaving aside any possibility of social disagreement. This means that the two houses, in their delivery stage, are developed in two floors, with the same amount of square meters (54m2), the same amount of rooms (3) and common places, the same square meters of extension, (9 m2 in the second floors) and have the wet rooms in the same vertical core. Their differences are given in their spatial distribution and their location in relation to the volume of three floors.


The grouping that is projected (72 houses), favors that all the houses share two of their four walls with adjacent neighbors, this helps to diminish the energy demand of the enclosures, developing this way a necessary sustainable economy for this type of housing.


Assuming the costs of production, in relation to the material and construction of the economic housing, the project proposes to accompany the masonry, of a system of semi-prefabricated production, since this one makes possible the introduction of new constructive systems, major rapidity of execution, major accuracy (more precise dimensioning), better economic control (there does not exist waste of material), improvement of the quality, as well as of the control and flexibility in his facilities. The semi-prefabricated system will be used to build ribbed concrete slabs, consisting of ceramic beams and vaults, plus a concrete slab poured on site, reinforced with an electro-welded steel mesh. 

In relation to the choice of the location where the project is located, we have decided on both the impact of the earthquake in the area, as well as its heritage status, the center of the city of Talca. Given the fact that in the centre of this city 39% of the population corresponded to socioeconomic strata D and E before the earthquake, we believe that the development of an economic housing management model for Talca, thought within the framework of the Solidarity Fund I Housing Projects, can be an alternative for families to stay where they lived before and thus maintain their central location and social networks.


Specifying the location within Talca, we have chosen Sector Eight of the city (Santa Ana) where 75% of the houses (393 houses) are damaged, of which 36.5% (191 houses) are to be demolished and 38.6% (202 houses) are under repair. Within this sector we have selected the block perimetered by streets 8 north, 7 north, 10 east and 11 east, as it presents demolitions towards three of the streets. This has caused these three streets to be connected today inside the block, thus reinforcing the idea of a central space for social relations, but this time at an urban level.


To conclude, we believe that it is necessary to equalize the variables involved in economic housing, under the logic of a community society. This look only rescues a real current condition, which if it is managed to be articulated would propitiate a sustainable urban dynamic. The operation that the project produces to achieve this articulation, is of the hand of the idea of the patio as space of action, as much at the scale of the housing as of the city.

The ods in which this project is inscribed are 

We achieve this through a constant evaluation of the impact of the project on the site, the energy incorporated from the materials, the social impact and the spatial warmth.

Estación Espacial Arquitectos Maintains a highly personal level of service throughout the design process and offers strong technical and structural solutions through close collaboration with the technical offices.

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