Studio Surco (Juan Paulo and Felipe Alarcón Carreño) have reconstructed a curricular administrative building for the Colegio María Auxiliadora in Linares, Chile. Part of the school's complex, the building was severely damaged by the 27 February 2010 earthquake. The volume occupied a predominant position on the corner of the Main Square of Linares, in an important position within the city.
Rebuilding on the same site allowed the building to reorder a layout that grew without an apparent programmatic order over time; the reorganization determined the new building would host curriculum administration (previously scattered around the campus), as well as the main entrance to the campus, replacing precarious circulation and a few classrooms.
The volume surveys its surrounding iconic elements, which then influence the final design: a rusty steel pediment faces the patina-ed brick of the square's Cathedral. On the opposite axis, a deciduous plant wall accompany the greenery of the main square. This intersection forms a double height space that houses an image of the Virgin Mary (after whom the school is named), in a sort of "urban grotto".
The corner dematerializes access, welcoming the pedestrian and mediating between the scale of the city and the building. It also continues the axis that the existing pavilions hide, and the double-height access penetrates the interior of the building, creating multiple views between different levels and campuses, while acting as the viewpoint to the old chapel.
Surco: post-earthquake reconstruction of curricular administrative building in Colegio María Auxiliadora
Architects: Surco, Juan Paulo and Felipe Alarcón Carreño
Promoter: Reconstruction Plan of the Ministry of Education
Land area: 367,7 square metres
Built surface: 735,4 square metres
Year of project: 2011
Year of construction: 2011