Ferrovial La ingeniería civil como arte: creatividad e innovación

Where the earth shakes

Santiago, Chile

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In the middle of a plain, protected by the mountains that guard it with only a narrow access to the south, lies a building that seems to be alive.

Depending on how the wind blows across Santiago’s plain, its facade moves, dynamically adapts to conditions, and protects the interior from the sun. Inside, engineering takes center stage.

The new building for the Engineering Department at the University of Chile (formerly known as the VM20 (Vicuña Mackenna 20) is one of two projects that Ferrovial Construction has just finished for the Chilean educational institution. Its interiors and exteriors of exposed concrete rise eight floors above ground and dives three floors underground.

In all, it 10,700 square meters of modernity to the university. The channeled surface runs through a large atrium that stretches from the ground to the roof; around it are classrooms, laboratories, and auditorium.

In one of the most earthquake-prone countries in the world, the structure towers over a 20-meter cantilever, erected 12 stories high. Inside, the classrooms, which are all the same, are spread out in a circle. They follow an order that brings shape to the floor, and they’re distributed between floors that are all different from one other.

The FAE’s new 13,100 square meters are covered by a tensile structure and surrounded by terraces and gardens. The complex makes up one of the first buildings to achieve the CES sustainable building certificate (Certificado de Edificación Sustentable) in Chile.

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