Four Fundamental Debates

written by Umberto Bonomo


During the past two decades, Chilean architecture has won its place in both national and international art and culture owing to its high quality and radicalism. The main protagonists, works, and projects of the period have been introduced to the public at home and abroad. However, it has occurred mostly on the level of description: critical reviews have been rare and it is only occasionally that the projects, texts, or even authors have been able to surpass the level of mere case studies. Acknowledging the efforts invested during the past twenty years with the aim of offering support to the major architects and projects of the time, the Catholic University of Chile, with the financial support of the National Foundation for Culture and Art (fondart nr. 85178) has been hosting the research project Discourse on Contemporary Chilean Architecture: Four Fundamental Debates, coordinated by architect Hugo Mondragón. He has proposed to undertake a critical analysis that would start from the works themselves and the research they required by focusing on four main issues. Without aiming at exhaustiveness, the project will bring together some of the most important works of architecture, infrastructure, and landscape architecture recently produced in Chile in order to create new room for interpretation that would allow for an explanation of some of the processes that have led to the evolution of exceptional architecture, the results of which have continuously contributed to the reputation of the architectural profession on the international level.