Chilean firm Elemental, known for countering Santiago's influx of glass towers with concrete monoliths, has unleashed another neo-Brutalist bunker in the capital. While Chilean firms have eschewed soulless glass boxes before (exhibit A: this fabulous "punch-card" university building), this time the concrete artists of the new Anacleto Angelini Innovation Center at the Universidad Católica de Chile sound kind of bitter about the enduring popularity of such structures.
The city's builders, they say, have engaged in an "uncritical search for the contemporary" despite "the desert climatic local conditions" inside glass buildings that "have a serious greenhouse effect in the interiors." Enter this 14-story reinforced concrete building. It's got deep recessed windows and an edifice that allows for cool interiors without using any energy, since the three-story high windows are shaded by thick concrete blocks. The architects claim their bunker uses half of the energy of the glass tower blocks they so despise.
"From a stylistic point of view, we thought of using a rather strict geometry and strong monolithic materiality as a way to replace trendiness by timelessness," the design team told Dezeen. More photos, below.
· ELEMENTAL Chile [Official]
· Giant openings puncture Elemental's "monolithic" concrete innovation centre [Dezeen]
· All That's Rather Brutal posts [Curbed National]