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ARQ (Santiago)

versión On-line ISSN 0717-6996

ARQ (Santiago)  no.100 Santiago dic. 2018 

Works & projects

A Patrician Genealogy of Chilean Architecture in the 20th Century

Diego Grass1 

1 Profesor, Escuela de Arquitectura, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile.


In ancient Rome, Patricians were those who constituted aristocracy, given their direct - sanguine - relationship with the founding fathers. From this idea, diagramming a genealogy of Chilean architecture not only allows to ‘locate’ each character within her/his networks - whether based on connection, friendship or support - but also allows to ask ourselves how many degrees of separation exist between this supposed aristocracy and the 99 % of those architects that are not on this map.

Keywords: diagram; generations; history; aristocracy; schools

Since the early 1980s, the history of ARQ magazine is the history of Architecture at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (UC). National intersections with the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaiso (PUCV) were frequent in the 80s and 90s. To these were added the intermittent appearances of architectures coming from the ‘rival’ institution, the Universidad de Chile. The School of Architecture of Universidad de Talca is represented only once (by Rodrigo Sheward’s graduation project, published in issue 74). International intersections belong to a separate story and would deserve another genealogical map.

This selection of 10 historical articles is rather inbred. By surveying some important crosses between UC architects born during the 20th century, I seek to present what ARQ does best. Of all the characters introduced, only two were neither born nor raised in this hotbed (Montserrat Palmer, who studied at the Universidad de Chile and Cazú Zegers, from the PUCV), confirming the exception to the rule.

I highlight the forgotten connection between Jorge Elton and Miguel Eyquem or between Sebastián Irarrázaval, his likely mentor Rodrigo Pérez de Arce and his first partner Guillermo Acuña. I bring forward partnerships that were once a hit, with duos such as José Cruz and Germán del Sol or Arturo Torres and Jorge Christie. I also present uneven learning relationships between architects who seem to be very different: Alejandro Aravena and Fernando Pérez or Sandra Iturriaga and Samuel Bravo.

There are many more relations. To recognize them is to portray a network of private knowledge transfer that, I believe, describes very well everything which will never be published in ARQ, for either being too valuable or too horrifying to be made public.

ARQ 07 (November, 1982): 16-20

Figure 1 Casa patronal y equipamiento fundo agrícola en la precordillera / Proyecto de título. Antonia Lehmann (Advisor: Montserrat Palmer), 1982. 

ARQ 27 (September, 1994): 34-39

Figure 2 Centro Cultural Estación Mapocho. Montserrat Palmer, Teodoro Fernández, Rodrigo Pérez de Arce, Ramón López, 1994. 

ARQ 35 (April, 1997): 21-27

Figure 3 Hotel Explora Patagonia. José Cruz, Germán del Sol, 1994. 

ARQ 36 (July, 1997): 36-39

Figure 4 Showroom Moro. Guillermo Acuña, Sebastián Irarrázaval, 1996. 

ARQ 42 (July, 1999): 41

Figure 5 Condominio Parque Golf de Manquehue. Luis Izquierdo, Antonia Lehmann, Cazú Zegers, 1994. 

ARQ 25 (January, 1994): 32-34

Figure 6 Cementerio en Recoleta / Proyecto de título. Sebastián Irarrázaval (Advisor: Rodrigo Pérez de Arce), 1992. 

ARQ 78 (August, 2011): 32-34

Figure 7 Lodge Ani Nii Shobo - Casa Grande de la Selva. Sandra Iturriaga, Samuel Bravo, 2010. 

ARQ 67 (December, 2007): 32-41

Figure 8 Liceo Alemán del Verbo Divino. Felipe Assadi, Mathias Klotz, Francisca Pulido, Pablo Riquelme, Trinidad Schönthaler, Renzo Alvano, 2008. 

ARQ 61 (December, 2005): 64-67

Figure 9 Hotel Antumalal. Jorge Elton, 1950. 

ARQ 59 (March, 2005): 29-33

Figure 10 Escuela de Medicina UC. Alejandro Aravena, Fernando Pérez Oyarzun, equipo, 2004. 

* Diego Grass Architect, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, 2010. Since 2014 is a professor at that same institution. Since 2006 collaborates with Felipe de Ferrari in architectural audiovisual records, founding the OnArchitecture database in 2011 ( In 2012 founded Plan Común. Has been working on architectural projects together with Thomas Batzenschlager since 2017.

Creative Commons License Este es un artículo publicado en acceso abierto bajo una licencia Creative Commons