Valparaiso Urban Project – Viaduct Access South / Prat Dock

General context:
Valparaiso is a port and a city, a simultaneous connection. Materiality and different needs in constant dialogue sometimes become bitter argument. Understanding the complementarities of both configurations is the central theme of this exciting project. This clear investment on the port system technologies (linked with efficiency and economical advantages), confronts the patrimonial qualification and the aesthetics to improve the people's lives. City and port, facing each other with multiple differences.
The people of Valparaiso transit from one place to another without conflict. Both realities (the city and the port) configure a collective and unconscious memory.

Project's intentions:
• Providing a concrete solution, an urban planning connection for the areas of intervention and defining programs use to design street furniture.
Creating a comprehensive proposal with specific interventions for the proposed areas, although they surpass the area defined by the organizing authority. The places of intervention are:
2.1. Plaza Sotomayor
2.2. Avenue Errázuriz
2.3. Office space
The proposed project aims to design particular responses, achievable and formal quality to the areas of intervention, but it should be also read as a proposal that will generate an inclusive and participatory debate. The project involves various groups who will be the real customers and users: craftsmen, traders, boaters and neighbors. We proposed the project as a system of connected actions which may be extended by reconnecting the port with the city along the entire front maritime.

Plaza Sotomayor: Sotomayor square collects traces of the city's urban growth, the spirit of its history  and the vicissitudes of each time. Therefore, the proposed development should be sensitive to that memory and take into consideration its urban morphology. We believe that it is appropriate to make a Contemporary proposal that is not only adapted to the needs of the new protagonists of the city, but sensitive to the character and vibes of the area. Throughout our ¨Sotomayor plaza¨ study, we understood it as the addition of three large areas of different backgrounds:

A- The space in front of the "Chilean Navy“ building, which refers to a Central Square, a plaza weapons, and most importantly to a place of civility and regulation of trade. We believe that the project should celebrate the desire of interaction.
B- The space that the city has gained due to the expansion of the sea known as a civil space and an urban growth of the XXth century. An empty space justified by its size when dealing with a mass of citizens. If the space is inactivate it is considered to be isolated and disjointed. A future project should address the need to redesign this space in order to maintain its QUALITY AND CHARACTER when empty. Planting trees will not be considered as a main element of urban design, as we believe that an underground parking should be built under the square. In addition to this, it is extremely important to value and respect its archaeological heritage.
C- Finally, the MUELLE PRAT, the additional space recently reclaimed from the sea, not yet included in the "City" but considered as a port area. This space is accessed through the entrance defined by the buildings of the Port Authority and Customs National, with its towers. It is a space on the scale of ships, and towers are the landmarks that give the scale of the city from the sea. The challenge of the intervention on this site, is to accommodate human scale, the pace of an eventful activity, understanding the value and monumental quality assembly, which is an emblematic image of the city from the sea.

Avenue Errázuriz
An effort to dispossess severe vehicles in this "highway" should be made in order to share it with the people and city. This demands the presence of additional pavements, plantation of trees, and the introduction of landscape and street furniture. In the drawings, the proposal should be verified and developed with mobility specialists city, but nevertheless our experience enables us considered viable.

As for the zone in which the avenue crosses the square Sotomayor, we propose placing it underground, allowing in surface only a limited service step. The position of the Av. Errázuriz by the passage from the square Sotomayor, allows access to the underground parking without the appearance of ramps on the surface.

Office Space
The reorganization of this space will be essential for the full recovery of the image of this waterfront. The project should be drawn in this space with rescaled sidewalks and streets. We propose to study the design of a platform against the customs building to improve the relationship with the building, tree planting and street furniture. Regulating and centralizing the traffic and the bus stop.

SECTOR 2: Prat Dock
Prat dock space is a crucial, complex and difficult space for the city. Coming up with an intervention that would solve this intense and problematic zone would be very prepotent.

However, we believe that what should be done here, after considering the challenge of "solving" the greatest possible number of architectural problems that this space (scale uses and ownership of land, preparation for different activities...) involves, should be inspired to emotion. The project sets out intentions that should become the best possible way to carefully develop the project but these intentions don’t fit in a temporal process as a contest. In terms of "architectural problems," the project must consider the following challenges:

A. Providing a connection and a visual & physical continuity between Sotomayor square, the Prat wharf and the sea. This implies that the building is preferable to have a dimension which permits the reading and recognition as a "great sea gate" from the square Sotomayor. It has to act as a respectful dialogue with the building of Captaincy Port, the National Aduanas and the towers.
B. Proposing an acceptable permanent occupancy by a lightweight construction that allows a better development of civic activity. This occupation should not be an obstacle to the movement of cranes´ large size in the port. The project involves a slightly different position of the cranes than the one proposed in the engineering department.
C. Providing the space with human scale needs and an adequacy of space such as a layer of protection from the natural elements (sun, rain, wind).
D. Organizing a variable and temporary use program.

SECTOR 1: Viaduct Access South
As previously mentioned, the sector 2 involves the relationship between the city and the sea and understanding the space port - Muelle Prat - as a living space of connection and transition. In the case of Sector 1, the project should reflect on the dialogue established between the "mountain" and the “harbor”. A solution should be considered in order to eliminate an undesirable barrier which is the viaduct. It transforms the final image of the city at this point to retrieve the CONNECTION WITH THE SOUTH COAST. This double intention will be expressed in three complementary interventions:
A. Opening and conditioning of the underside of the viaduct with the location of a recovery program - INTERPRETATION CENTRE OF PUERTO /// IPPC - a building that fits this space preventing the onset or perpetuation of undesirable residual spaces.
B. Recovery of the shipyards buildings that are currently underutilized by incorporating sustainable public use to attract business to the area. In order to recover this area, it would be beneficiary to organize a participatory process and get involved in different social agents and citizen groups in the process of re-appropriation and urban transformation of this area. A first interesting and viable operation would be conditioning the roofs of buildings for public use. This will create a relationship between the citizens and the port without interfering with the activity of the port.
C. Adding an "ELEVATOR - CRANE - TOWER - LIGHTHOUSE - ATALAYA". A view point and an element inspired by the port cranes with reminiscences of the lifts and cable cars (characteristic of Valparaiso) allow an additional view of the harbor from a higher place where the rooftop of the buildings and the shipyards can be discovered.

Location: Valparaiso, Chile
Client: Empresa Portuaria Valparaíso (EPV)
Date: 06.2015
Project: AV62 arquitectos (Victoria Garriga + Toño Foraster)
Collaborative Office Chile: Ipiña-Nieto Arquitectos
Collaborators: Samantha Sgueglia, Paolo Calarco, Ivo Tiago Teixeira Azevedo
Alessandro Conti, Priscila Vacas Wagner