01 Tejas Verdes / No memory land
" I can’t reason. Everything that I propose to me as thought get transforms and becomes dreams … I don’t give more, I don’t know who I am exactly after everything that has happened. My conscience don’t admit another notion that being-here-waiting. "
Hernán Valdés – Tejas Verdes
The military site of Tejas Verdes, on the shores of Maipo river, is part of the regiment of the same name of the army of Chile, located in the city of San Antonio, one of the principal harbor of south America. It was one of the first fields of detention of the military regime in the seventies (dictatorship 1973 - 1989, 1.193 people missing arrested), 1500 arrested or prisoners were in this field for political and ideological reasons (1). Tejas Verdes was a prison of fortune, a provisional concentration camp constructed with a slight way. It will be completely dismantled at the end of the repression, its location wasn’t very known by the city and the citizens.
Tejas Verdes, as the witness Hernán Valdés tell us in his diary of political arrested, combined together all the aspects of the camp concentration universe: creation of a world, of a 'city', of a system of life (or death), of work and production … where the only relating for those who were taken there was the field itself " (2). The people arrested were reduced to a condition of nonexistence, of stealthiness, where it was giving priority to loneliness rule and to verbal, physical and psychological aggression, the precariousness as a punishment.
In Chile, this historical critical period is still a motive of divisions or polarization in the actual society. It’s a taboo topic, which has given step to an episode of amnesia, necessary from our point of view to the democratic transition, as a time needed for reconciliation, a collective silence to restore the links and social lost habits. In 2013, they will be the 40 years anniversary of the beginning of this troubled episode. We believe that it is the time that the city and their inhabitants appropriate themselves to their own history. An urban destiny gives them to this place-not-place, to rethink this complex sector of the urban plot of way to create a strategy of renovation and appropriation shape as a response of economic urban and ecological substantiality to demographic, energetic and ecological stakes of future decades.
02 Tejas Verdes / Urban - biological duality
Biophilie: " the innate tendency to concentrate on the life and the biological processes "
Edward O. Wilson - Biophilia
In case of Tejas Verdes as a place, we might speak about a border, about a double border: Urban and biological. Urban or suburban it might say, the current site is in the south access of the city of San Antonio, in the urban and communal limit: it is in an edge in the urban perimeter, which occupation of the soil as activities are ambiguous and indefinite: between a former industrial site and a place of storage: a waste land.
It is simultaneously a biological border, its location in the river mouth of Maipo river, which makes it being a part of a hybrid ecosystem typical of the wetlands, with the direct consequence of being a place of high biodiversity: biotope of coexistence of terrestrial, fluvial and maritime species, of migration and habitat of birds (128 species listed, 27% of the Chilean poultry fauna) and the existence of an endemic flora with hydrophytes predominance. Despite that a part of the area is situated in protected natural zone (ZP) and next to the wetland of Santo Domingo (wetland the Yali, RAMSAR), it is an ignored sector in potentials and biological wealths. For us it is a zone of transition, as a territory of transition, as exchanges, as transfer of a way: our proposition is trying to answer (to open a multitude of questions simultaneously) to this duality paradox: Of how the city can appropriate the nature and be part of it.
03 Amphibia / Concept
We have developed an opened offer for the city of San Antonio and their political, economic and social actors, a hybrid and mixed offer, urbanphile and biophile, taking again the principle of Edward Wilson: of civil memory and natural history. This omnipresent duality has taken us to Amphibia, of the ancient Greek, [Amphis] that means " the two, way " and [Bios] life: two, both lives (urban and nature) presents and intangibles. Amphibia makes allusion simultaneously to a military terminology; the idea of demilitarization of this place is associated for us to a misappropriation and to a reinterpretation of the military universe towards the civil society.
Amphibia is an adjustment, a biological reflection, material response to a double or dual condition to be / to live: between land (edges) and river Maipo, between land and fog (phenomenon of mist appellant on the pacific coast, called also camanchaca in Chile), between river and ocean, between river and sky (birds - wetlands). It is then a metamorphosis of a delicate place, forgotten in its history, of its appropriation by means of” naturalization" and the putting on of a " dynamic balance " among memory, city and nature.
04 Amphibia / Master-morphosis plan
" The global space results from the interaction of their diverse bodies … each one will be polyvalent, in a such space, every part is like a structure that receives in itself everything "
Massimo Cacciari – La Città
The occasion to rethink the military plot where the field of detention Tejas verdes was placed, has made appear the possibility of re-defining the current zones of the regulatory plan in this part of the city. The transformation or mutation of this area is the release to annotate a zone of influence from the biological, urban and rural point of view. Amphibia is an intervention, strategy and territorial proposition, of ecosystem and urbanism. It deals of master-morphosis, so we have called it, hybrid plan, of mixed programming constituted by zones, rather "polyzones": areas or habitats that interact some with others, which mix, overflow between them. There are polyvalent about the occupation and activities developed, but each one has a precise destination and a specific function.
We have defined and conceived 5 polyzones which take into accounts five aspects or sustainable essential aims:
- Firstly, to minimize the ecological impact of the constructions with the choice of materials of low emission and high storage of CO2.
- Secondly, to have energetic autonomy to reach a passive and generating status of electric power.
- Thirdly, to put a special emphasis in the treatment of wastewater and capture of the water of mists typical of the region for domestic use.
- Fourthly, to use sobriety in a compactness of volumes and forms, the project gets the appropriation by the city, the simplicity of recognizable forms look for an integration with the local constructions, a social sustainability, like a pop-arch (itecture),
- Finally fifthly, to secure and keep the endemic flora even if the introduced vegetation will come to reinforce the existing thing.
Polizona 01 (PZ 01)
INIR: Iniciation / Natural memory
" I believe that I know every knot, every spot, every relief of this cabin wood … I stay hours looking at the drawings left by the cut of the saw, composing and separating faces, animal and vegetable forms, hiding myself the tension of the wait " Hernán Valdés
Nowadays there isn’t any vestige of the field of detention Tejas verdes, in the plot there are 3 hangars of storage of construction material belonging to the army. It’s a kind of waste site, this condition of emptiness led us to a misappropriation of the notion of memory without losing in mind that it will be the center of the proposition. After reading TEJAS VERDES diary of a concentration camp in Chile, by the writer Hernan Valdes, the notion of place and non-place, from the commemorative sounds and of the milestones or vestiges of an exterior life for those that were becoming prisoners an experience has revealed to us a ‘cadrage’ of the landscape. We have wanted to transform this into an experience of contact, of "initiation" with the nature, an experience with the senses. By this way, we have conceived the zone INIR, etymological origin of ‘inicio’ (beginning in Spanish), it means interference and movement, conduction, where we pass for 3 pavilions:
Pavilion within the walls (intramuros): with closing which lets glimpse but stop the guess, creating a notion of exterior with sounds and noises, this one leads the visitor to be suspended at the edge of the river.
Pavilion of the wait : which give a picture of the landscape towards the East hill and the interior of the river. The idea is to create a scene for the spontaneous and official events of the city.
Pavilion of the wake : that hint in the height of vigilance towers. In this case it allows a general sight for on the trees towards the river, to take height to observe the nature.
Respected to the vegetable treatment, we will do a fenced space, where the nature is exposed. By this way the space has been conceived like Clearings, where the vegetation will be treated like pixel, fragments of the endemic flora of local nature. As outdoors garden – museum, we will find the smells, flavors (fruits), the stations, the own climate of a recovered nature.
Polizone 02 (PZ 02)
Eco-SME (Small and Medium Enterprises) / Tertiary duty-free zone (offices)
We have created a principle of tertiary duty-free zone, for SME and start-up companies which are ready to establish themselves in San Antonio in Amphibia. These will get benefit of the advantages of a duty-free zone for choosing ecological buildings, this could be a mixed public and private initiative and could outline as a strategy of decentralization of the capital (Santiago) and regional development of sustainable constructions.
Then, it would be an "exemplary" of economic buildings in the use of energy, heating and air conditioning. For it, we will take advantage of the solar power with thermal panels which warm the buildings (See Bioclimatic approach text) in the critical hours: morning and evening. There will have a circuit of horizontal heating type " slab activates " with a homogeneity in the distribution of the heat; for it we have chosen a mixed structure: structure of concrete of great inertia so that the accumulated calories vanish slowly in the day to the interior and walls in wood with an insulation of 20 cm in periphery of the buildings which would limit the calorific loss in winter. With this system, the buildings would be passive.
Studying the existing temperatures and dampness, we choose a natural ventilation, a sweep South-East towards North-East. We have incorporated a system of mesh which keep the fog in a way very simple to satisfy a third of the demand in sanitary water and eventually dew of gardens; This meshing has the purpose of being the second skin to temper the part more exposed to the Sun in summer. For the electrical production we have incorporated solar panels in the zone of parking. We detached them from the buildings so that they could be a trend of shading of other similar zones and for a facility of maintain.
This would be a new strategy of valuation of city access. This could permit a profitability of the periphery and create one mix group with the others activities of amphibia, it is necessary to remind that for being a tertiary area, we will reduce the luminous artificial impact in the night for the birds of the river and fauna in general.
Polizone 03 (PZ 03)
Conservation / Observation
An urban and biophile Pier, aerial pier will permit us to suspend ourselves and to observe the biodiversity of the delta of the river. This will have a fence of hiding and punctually, pavilions of observation (cinkanas aereas). These were the subject matter of the camouflage, this way the inhabitants learn the habit of no hiding themselves but to live the experience of observing alive nature, fauna and flora. For these pavilions we have wanted to give animal features, a talk and integration to the place and its fauna. Almost the integrality of the implantations of the constructions has been approached as organisms, as bodies in an ecosystem.
We preserve the old bridge partly but we 'naturalize' it like Gilles Clement, doing that the vegetation and the autochthonous fauna go and appropriate the structure. The bridge has been in condition of ruin for more than four decades and is a vestige of a commemorative milestone of people arrested in Tejas verdes. For a memory way, we will only demolish the parts most spoilt of this bridge so it will be inaccessible for the inhabitants.
The longitudinal dimension of the pier and the position of the observatories are going to allow a delimiting with major precision of zone of natural protection, creating a limited access to the inhabitants and concentrating them in the rest of the polyzones.
Polizone 04 (PZ 04)
Ecolodges / Fluvial public resort
We have developed a reinterpretation of fluvial wall docks we called Cinkanas original name of the famous taverns of the 19th century (3), which were improvised, unexpected and popular constructions and which were hiding place. The idea is that the resort takes into account the impact of the presence of the people in the nature, so that there is a care, concealment, as a double distillation of these wall docks, as artificial fluvial beaches in on one hand and as support of native vertical vegetation in another hand. The idea of local occupation appears in a seasonal way: the zone will be accessible in spring and summer whereas in the winter there won’t be anybody.
About the Ecolodge, we have projected a part of the resort in summer housing. Hybridization between a hut suspended in height and a tent, the ecolodges are adapting to the ecosystem of wetland and to the housing of permanent and migratory birds. We have conceived these huts in order to be autonomous in energy and with low emission CO². There is an accentuation especially to the water recovery rains and treatment of gray waters, the idea is to be a mixed public and private initiative.
Polizone 05 (PZ 05)
Duty-free zone with organic agriculture
There is a last polyzone that has stayed in suspense: it’s about the definition of an area with biologic agriculture to regular and arranges the already existing cultures and to stimulate the transformation towards an organic use of the soil. The zone is ready in the map but it’s still for studying.
Amphibia master plan is an opened offer to the political actors, as the municipality of San Antonio, economic actors as the Corfo, and diverse associations, cultural corporations, especially the poets' Coastal initiative. It’s a proposition in order to start the discussion and reflection about the city, the historical memory and the nature in San Antonio. Finally Amphibia is an offer and an urban and architectural study but no a political demand.
Amphibia Bioclimatic Approach (ZP 02 Ecobuilding)
The project of building uses the climatic specificities of the site to obtain a comfortable internal temperature without fossil energy consumption. The consumptions of electricity necessary for the activity of companies in the building (mainly for the lighting and the office automation) will be compensated with the production of the photovoltaic panels.
The architecture of the project is thought to reduce the environmental footprint of the building since its construction until its demolition. It is not only a question of "improving" materials so that they are more "green" or "to add" "intelligent" equipments. The main part is the intrinsic quality of the architecture so that the drawing of the building ensues naturally from environmental characteristics of the site. The logic of the process of conception is strengthened by this quality requirement:
1-Setting-up and orientation: we find here the stakes in landscape, in biodiversity. From the energy point of view, it is essential to direct the main facades in front of the sun (North) to reduce at the same time the consumptions of heating in winter and the needs of refreshment in summer. In winter, the solar radiation will be absorbed in the building in the period of the day when it is the strongest. The height of the modules of buildings and the distance between them allows to avoid the phenomena of mask which would prevent the recycling of the solar contributions. In summer, the angle of incidence of the sun will allow to protect itself from it easily, thanks to venetian blinds or canopies for example, without having to hide the windows (contrary to an East-west orientation with a very penalizing shaving sun). Besides, the south façade benefits from a very homogeneous diffuse light allowing a good illumination of premises whatever is the season. This measure is also very important for the comfort.
2-Volumetry: the simplicity of the forms is security of economy of materials and energy. For the same quantity of used materials, we create more useful space in a compact building than in a quirky building. Besides, the thermal decreases towards the outside are proportional on the surface of wall thus even there a compact building will have fewer energy needs for its heating and its refreshment. It is not naturally a question of going against the functional qualities which remain priority but to look for the biggest simplicity allowing to meet the needs.
3-Envelope and structure: the built plays the role of a skin around his occupants, the complementarities between the heat insulation of the envelope and the thermal slowness of the structure concrete regulates the internal climate and it without any energy consumption. The association of the concrete, the heavy material, for the main structure and some wood, material lending itself well to the constitution of very isolated walls, answers perfectly these expectations : the slowness of paving stones in concrete, heavy material, absorbs the temperature variations. The coefficient of thermal transmission of walls, roofs and floors will be about 0,4 W/m ². ° C, what corresponds as thickness as 15 cm of an insulating material manufactured from vegetable fibers. The objective is to find local and bearable materials from local manufacturing sectors.
4-Openings: windows and other openings are the object of a compromise. Their contributions indispensable to the life of the building (light, captation of the solar contributions, views, ventilation, animation of facade) do not have to make forget that they constitute critical points of the envelope : less insulating than walls, sources of heat in summer. Their size are calculated exactly to insure a good illumination, they are then arranged according to the compositions of facades and the internal spaces. To obtain the highest possible thermal performance (2 W/m ². ° C for frame+glazing), we shall put double windows or windows strengthened with double glazing.
These first 4 stages are absolutely fundamental, but they are often neglected or little valued because they send back to a notion perceived as energy against the technological progress: the sobriety. It is nevertheless the essential contribution of the Architect to the environmental component of the "bearable" project. These orientations are taken in dialogue with the team of Engineering so that the technique becomes integrated harmoniously intervenes so simply in complement and the main popular quality is the efficiency: make as much as possible with the least possible, in perfect symbiosis with the structural and architectural characteristics of the building. The conjugation of the sobriety of the built and the efficiency of the systems reduces very strongly the energy needs with which the remainder can be covered then easily in 100 % by renewable energies generally available on-the-spot.
4-System of heating and refreshment: paving stones concrete serve directly as transmitter of heat and as cold, the wished temperature is so spread in a homogeneous way in all the building and with a low difference of temperature between the transmitter and the internal atmosphere. This allows to favor a distribution by radiation rather than by convection. Then, we avoid the movements of air which bring of the discomfort, a bad distribution of the temperature and the uprisings of dusts.
The heat necessary for the heating is produced by approximately 350 m ² of thermal solar panels settled on roofs. This heat is stored in insulated water tanks because it needs heating there in the morning but it is the afternoon when the period of sunshine is the most important (systematic mists in the morning). A reservoir is installed in every module, from which a system of gates and pumps (see plan) allows to deliver a regular temperature To take into account differences between zones (period of sunshine, human thermal contributions), every building is cut in several zones from which a thermostat acts on the gate of arrival of the paving stone to open it or close it according to the real needs.
For the refreshment, the functioning is exactly the same, but the freshness is got in the ground, by a network of buried tubes which cool in the contact of the earth, the temperature of which is constant even in summer.
In this way all the needs of heating and refreshment is covered without any fossil energy consumption.
The warm water necessary for the functioning of the catering, in particular for the wash, is produced too by thermal solar panels. In case of bad period of sunshine, a boiler gas allows to assure the heating of the water.
5-Ventilation: it is indispensable to renew the internal air of a building of activity to avoid that the concentration of the air in CO2 increases inside because even if we never reach dangerous rates for the health, it impacts very strongly on the capacity of concentration of the persons. However, it is necessary to watch that the flow of air is not too much brought up to avoid too important thermal decreases.
Finally, the electric consumptions, mainly necessary for the office automation and the lighting, are more than compensated with the production of the photovoltaic solar panels settled on roofs and parking lot. The consumption of offices is estimated at 200 000 kWh / year, the electricity production generated by 1500 m ² of photovoltaic panels will be about 220 000 kWh / year.
For S.G. elementary and support.
(1) Informe comisión Rettig, realizado bajo el gobierno del presidente Patricio Aylwin (1990 – 1994)
(2) Manuel A. Garretón, introducción Tejas Verdes diario de un detenido político
(3) Fernando purcell Torretti, Diversiones y juegos populares.