BLUEPRINT 50 Best Design Graduate Projects 2009
railLA Exhibition – City National Plaza, Los Angeles, Aug 2010
Takenaka Corporation Exhibition – Japan, Jul-Sep 2010
KASD (Kyoto University College of Architecture) Exhibition – Japan, Nov-Dec 2010

Published: BLUEPRINT 282 p.44, MARK 29 p.17

The proposed high speed railway station at Iquique is to be positioned within a 300,000 sqm masterplan in Alto Hospicio, a sector of the city 550m above the main city of Iquique.

Alto Hospicio was only first settled in the 1970s as the result of the exponential growth of the city and the subsequent lack of developable land by the coast. With the high availability of land at low prices, it has quickly become an area of urban sprawl and poverty. The high demand and lack of housing in the area has generated areas of illegal constructions with little infrastructure. This alongside the lack of community facilities has led to the social fragmentation and segregation of the area.

The proposal, located between the 2 parts of Iquique and on the peripheral edge of Alto Hospicio, as well as complimenting the already vibrant touristic activities in the city, will trigger the positive development of the area. It will also provide an alternative means of transport to/from the 2 parts of the city via an aerial tramway, vastly improving connections, currently only via the dangerous A-16 and the ancient road. Alongside the high speed railway station, the larger masterplan, generated by the index of the grid, grain, and topographical differences between the 2 parts of the city, will provide other community facilities necessary to Alto Hospicio, including green spaces, cultural, educational, sports and healthcare facilities.

The strategic positioning of the proposal within the fog zone of the city provides the opportunity for the harvesting of the Camanchaca Fog unique to areas of high altitudes along the northern coast of Chile. The new railway station’s upper levels become a daring cantilevered steel structure clad in copper mesh that collects water from fog and channels it to a system of local green spaces.

The project has been named by BLUEPRINT as the 50 best design graduate projects, and has been exhibited in London and Osaka as part of the Annual AA Projects Review, and in Los Angeles as part of the RailLA ‘LA Beyond Cars’ Exhibition.


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