By Emiliano Ruidiaz & Vicente Gutierrez
Wood potential and urban centrality
Wood gives us the possibility to re think the city. It gives us the chance to take advantage of places with great potential, in the center of the city. What matter is: What do we bring to the center of cities? What are cities missing? We believe that in this last question occurs the great possibility that wood can provide. Wood may give us the chance to bring back to the center, those programs that have been expelled from it, like social housing, which cannot afford the price of centrality.
The development of South American cities in recent years has been exponential; the problem is that planning instruments in most cases are governed by the market, leading to build socially segregated cities. Those who can afford the high price of the central land can access multiple social values that this brings.
We decided to work in the most segregated city in the OECD: Santiago, Chile. Wood gives us the opportunity to give the option to build, in the center of the city, for people who have been expelled from it, for several reasons.
In Santiago, all social housing in recent years has been built on the periphery, leading to higher prices not only for the people living in there, but also to the city as a whole. The city center is where most jobs are concentrated, so that has become a major problem. Travel times from the periphery to the center are very large, and that produces huge traffic problems, considering also, that public transportation collapses during peak hours.
Building central housing for people living on the periphery leads to a better quality of life for those users, and it can actually improve the quality of life of the entire city, creating homes near jobs.
With this, travel distances from home to work can be reduced, therefore reducing C02 emissions, creating a more sustainable city.
The project it is not intended only for a specific building, but as a system of interventions in the city center, creating design strategies, structural and constructive, to suit different contexts, in order to replicate the project in several buildings and cities.
It also, does not seek to bring extra weight to the building in which it will be settled, but to become a complement to it, a benefit.
The principal program is housing, but the project on the first floor has equipment for people living in homes and for people of the original building. This equipment will respond to context.