Secular temple

architectural office ELEMENTAL
project OchoQuebradas House, Los Vilos, Chile
written by Elvira Pérez Villalón


The already well-known Chilean architecture studio Elemental is composed of Victor Oddó, Gonzalo Arteaga, Diego Torres, Juan Ignacio Cerda and led by Alejandro Aravena. Recently, in 2018 Aravena got the Riba Charles Jencks Award for his contribution to the development of theory and practise in architecture. His 2016 Pritzker Prize highlighted his dedication to the improvement of urban environments and to addressing the global housing crisis. The jury praised the way in which the Chilean architect has risen to the demands of practicing architecture as an artful endeavour, as well as meeting today's social and economic challenges.  


However, Elemental project activity is not reduced to social housing. The studio has confronted all types of commissions and participated in international competitions of various kinds. Perhaps part of their contribution in the field of housing comes from the fact that they have faced that problem from a disciplinary point of view. Within this context, the studio was invited to participate in the third stage of the Ochoalcubo project in 2014. Ochoalcubo is a Chilean architectural design project that selected 64 prestigious architects and invited them to design eight sets of eight houses. Since its beginnings in 2002, it has been envisaged as an architecture laboratory with a peculiar management model. The project intended to show renowned architecture and to attract national attention promoting relationship between the participating architects and the Chilean Universities.