Japanese and Chilean Architects Collaborate to Design Houses for the Ochoalcubo Project

Ochoalcubo (Eight-Cubed) is a pioneering project in Chile that seeks to unite leading Chilean and Japanese practices with ground-breaking architecture. The collaborative enterprise was started by Eduardo Godoy, a design impresario who began working in Chile in the 1980s and who has always been a strong advocate for innovative design and architecture in the country. For a nation that boasts more than forty individual schools of architecture, the ever growing number of professionals seems to have had a relatively small impact on Chilean cities. Faced with the seemingly infinite landscape of ‘cookie-cutter housing’ in the suburbs, Godoy implemented Ochoalcubo in order to provide opportunities for young professionals, alongside fostering a new kind of appreciation for the profession itself. With a large number of architects having taken part in the first stage, including Smiljan Radic (designer of the 2014 Serpentine Pavilion), the third and fourth stage of what is certainly one of the world’s largest active architectural laboratories will be launched in the coming days.

See images from all sixteen proposals from third and fourth stages of the Ochoalcubo project, including those by SANAA, Sou Fujimoto, Kengo Kuma, Alejandro Aravena and Atelier Bow Wow, after the break.

The third stage of Ochoalcubo, led by the Japanese architects, and the fourth, led by the Chilean architects, will develop simultaneously along 800 meters of coastline, occupying the cliffs, bays and rock formations of a place known as Ochoquebradas. The architects received instructions to follow guidelines that include the directive to use concrete as a primary material (over a surface area of 250 m2 per each house). The dialogue between the individual projects is most important, considering the harmony of the whole and the relationship Ochoquebradas geographic attributes.

The location for this living experiment is at a site overlooking the Pacific Ocean, four kilometres south of Los Vilos, Región de Coquimbo, Chile. Occurring parallel to this Japanese/Chilean laboratory of architecture, a second development–whose mission will provide even more opportunities for architects–is also underway. A total of 800 hectares located behind the “laboratory” will be the site of a sustainably-designed city comprised of both individual and grouped residences and will be designed by young international and Chilean architects. For these houses, wood will be the primary material.

The 8Quebradas (Eight Cliffs) project, masterplanned by urbanist Roberto Moris, will develop the southern territory of the city of Los Vilos under a model of low impact and respect for the characteristics of the area. The master plan is motivated by the enhancement of natural heritage, taking care of the relationship between architecture and landscape. The project aims to develop a harmonious relationship with Los Vilos by devoting a high percentage of territory to public spaces, parks and protected areas. The most notable locations have been recognized as important landmarks and will be maintained as public spaces.

Ochoquebradas is not treated as a subdivision, but as a project with a unique value as an eco-innovation platform, says Moris. Invited architects are developing special projects, which include  “Communities”; clusters of 1.5 and 2 hectares where 3 or 4 houses harmonize not only with each other, but also with the geography and scenic environment in which they are located.

Read more about the origins of the Ochoalcubo project here.

Akihisa Hirata

Alejandro Aravena

Atelier Bow Wow

Cristian Undurruga

Felipe Assadi

Guillermo Acuña


Izquierdo Lehmann

Junya Ishigami

Kengo Kuma

Onishi + Hyakuda

Max Nuñez

Ryue Nishizawa (SANAA)

Kazuyo Sejima (SANAA)

Sou Fujimoto

WMR Arquitectos

Japanese and Chilean Architects Collaborate to Design Houses for the Ochoalcubo Project originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 26 Aug 2014.

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