Art & Architecture + [Valdivia (Regione)]

Valdivia, Regione di Los Ríos, Cile: Uach Emilio PugÍN Building by Albert Tidy
Uach Emilio Pugín Building by Albert Tidy

The Institute of Physics and Mathematics (Emilio Pugin building) at Universidad Austral de Chile (UACh), was founded in 2011 as a result of merging of the Institute of Physics and the Institute of Mathematics.

Uach Emilio Pugín Building by Albert Tidy

In December 2007 Valdivia’s Austral University was struck by tragedy. A fire that burned relentlessly for three days destroyed one of its most important buildings: the Science Faculty.

Uach Emilio Pugín Building by Albert Tidy

Two years later, the University launched a national architectural competition to recuperate the building while preserving the residual structure. Both cost efficient and sustainable, this strategy diminishes the carbon footprint that demolishing the building would produce.

Uach Emilio Pugín Building by Albert Tidy

The winning entry leaves this structure exposed, and by way of its unusual height (4.5 meters) and a glazed envelope, opens the hermetic former building towards the magnificent botanical garden that sits next door.

Uach Emilio Pugín Building by Albert Tidy

The program is divided mostly between research labs and offices. the layout places the latter on the perimeter of the plan, with views of the surroundings and natural light.

Uach Emilio Pugín Building by Albert Tidy

Research labs, because of their introspective nature and the need for controlled lighting systems, sit at the core of the floorplan. All new spaces are built as autonomous containers, never reaching the full height of the original building.

Uach Emilio Pugín Building by Albert Tidy

This allows the space to be perceived as a continous whole colonized by these volumes and frees the ceiling for Hvac ducts and a utilities network. the building is conceived in three conceptual levels: the lower one, a full floor below the street level, has a hybrid skin of prefab concrete shaders and glass windows, giving it a solid podium-like appeareance.

Uach Emilio Pugín Building by Albert Tidy

The top two floors of the building are clad with a glass curtain wall that covers their full height, like a glass box, in contrast with the bottom level. the facade reflects the surroundings during the day, and lights up like a lamp at night.

Uach Emilio Pugín Building by Albert Tidy

The mid-level or “mezzanine” is the heart of the project. Its appearance is the absence of the building, achieved by leaving half of the floor´s space a covered public plaza.

Uach Emilio Pugín Building by Albert Tidy

Conceived as a social hub, it connects inside to outside through three long-reaching arms or bridges, and lower to upper levels through two sculptural staircases (one of concrete and one of steel) that pierce every floor. Finally, the old tower structure adjacent to the main building is restored to provide restrooms, storage and machinery spaces.

Uach Emilio Pugín Building by Albert Tidy
Uach Emilio Pugín Building by Albert Tidy
Uach Emilio Pugín Building by Albert Tidy
Uach Emilio Pugín Building by Albert Tidy
Uach Emilio Pugín Building by Albert Tidy
Uach Emilio Pugín Building by Albert Tidy
Uach Emilio Pugín Building by Albert Tidy
Uach Emilio Pugín Building by Albert Tidy
Uach Emilio Pugín Building by Albert Tidy

Location: Valdivia, Chile Architect: Albert Tidy Associated Architect: Daniel Lazo Collaborators: Víctor Bustos, Valentina Marín, Cesar Osorio, Eduardo Tapia, Claudia Tidy, Nicolás Solís de Ovando, Tom De Soete, Roberto Jacob Engineering: ByB Ingenieria Lightning: Paulina Sir Electric Project: Heuser Ltda Sanitary Project: Patricio Olivares Technical Advisor: Pinedo y Cepeda Area: 10620.0 sqm Year: 2012 Photographs: Pablo Casals-Aguirre

4.7/10 (213)