A grid of concrete encases this tv transmission centre on the summit of San Cristóbal Hill in Santiago, Chile, which has just lately been renovated by architecture studio Umwelt.
Working with a constrained spending budget, Santiago-primarily based Umwelt teamed up with architect Juan Manuel Sepúlveda to renovate and extend the transmission centre in the city’s Parque Metropolitano.
By incorporating a second storey to house the tv channel’s digital gear, the architects increased the facility’s floor region up to 190 square metres. They then wrapped the complete volume in a new skin of perforated concrete.
Named Transmission Central, the creating stands within park grounds on San Cristóbal Hill, whose summit is marked by a giant statue of the Virgin Mary.
The 300-metre-tall peak also supplies a suitably elevated position for the city’s telecommunication towers and antennas, whilst a group of small-scale buildings sheltering signal-processing machinery are distributed under.
“Situated at the base of the antennae, on the leading of Cerro San Cristobal, the transmission central holds a dual standing as a piece entirely designated as telecommunications infrastructure and that of being getting found in a public park,” explained the architects.
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“The metropolitan park is an arm of the Andes mountains that inserts itself into the city, becoming the highest and one particular of the most central factors of Santiago,” they extra.
“This problem helps make it a strategic location for the installation of a quantity of telecommunications infrastructures resulting in eleven antennas along the profile of the peaks.”
Most of the project’s budget was reserved for the technical products and its hefty supporting structure, which was why the architects chose inexpensive precast concrete for the outer walls.
This sort of panelling is much more generally laid horizontally to develop paved regions for parking and backyard patios. The architects felt it would provide a reference to each the building’s industrial use and its parkland location.
“The coexistence of such infrastructure, with the public and geographical condition of the hill, has led the authorities of the park to look for in the new tasks a romantic relationship amongst architectural picture and technical functionality,” stated the architects.
The perforations help to give the give the developing an “ambiguous scale” and meld the outdated and new structures with each other.
A pair of big black doors punctuate the side of the developing, beneath a large dish, and are used to raise and decrease the products for servicing.
“The skin of concrete blocks generates a recognisable volume that absorbs the new and outdated architecture, while giving necessary protection to the machines, ventilating generators and climatic products and closing hemetic spaces for fragile digital machinery,” said the architects.
Umwelt was founded by Chilean architects Ignacio Garcia Partarrieu and Arturo Scheidegger in 2011. The studio has also developed a steel-framed pavilion for the city in response to a brief for the Youthful Architects System (YAP).
Close by, on the campus of the Universidad Católica de Chile, Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena – director of the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale – and his firm Elemental made the monolithic concrete Innovation Center UC.
Photography is by Felipe Fontecilla.
Site plan Part Building diagram