From Prison to Park

architects Jonathan Holmes, Carolina Portugeis, Osvaldo Spichiger, Martin Labbé
project Valparaíso Cultural Park, Cumming Avenue, Valparaíso, Chile
written by Francisco Chateau Gannon


The building is like a soap bubble. This bubble is perfect and harmonious if the breath is well-distributed, well-formed from the inside. The exterior is the result of the interior.[1]

Le Corbusier, Towards Architecture




In Valparaíso[2] you are always in some kind of interior. 


Whether in the street, on a flight of steps or a promenade, the visitor to Valparaíso always finds panoramic views that are somehow bordered by the city’s shapes.


The 42 hills of Valparaíso close around the bay that gave its name to the city, forming a half-circle bordered by the slope of the land, always orientated towards the sea. The distant horizon is a constant geometric reference for those walking the streets of Valparaíso.

[1] Le Corbusier, Vers une architecture, 1923

[2] Valparaíso is the second most important port in Chile, with a population of 290,000. Its hosts the National Congress (Parliament), and its old town core was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2003.