Sitio Eriazo, our client, is a collective whose aim is to recover empty, abandoned, urban spaces in the city of Valparaiso, Chile, which are currently rubbish dumps and attract vermin and delinquents. The members of the group are recent graduates from theater, art and architecture schools. The activities of the group rely on self-motivation, mutual support and a non-hierarchical organisation; they work to recover and make available to the community the urban patrimony of the city of Valparaiso which was declared UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003.“The colonial city of Valparaíso presents an excellent example of late 19th-century urban and architectural development in Latin America. In its natural amphitheater-like setting, the city is characterized by a vernacular urban fabric that clings to the hillsides that are dotted with a great variety of church spires. It contrasts with the geometrical layout of the sea-side plain. The city has well preserved its interesting early industrial infrastructures, such as the numerous ‘elevators’ on the steep hillsides.”
Sitio Eriazo begins its activities in 2012 by recovering an abandoned urban site in Escalera Becker, a site which was converted into a space for the diffusion of arts & crafts and which facilitates activities such as urban agriculture, theater, carpentry, and other self-sustaining undertakings. In 2014 Sitio Eriazo obtains legal status as an organization and move to an empty site in Ecuador 428 which it is currently developing. Sitio Eriazo recycles the wastes produced by society in order to generate tools of resistance, transformed into architecture, theatre, music, circus, painting, crafts and orchards, to help build alternative modes of working and learning which will alter our relationship to the environment. The objectives of Sitio Eriazo can be summed up as follows:
• To recover Valparaiso’s heritage and make it available to the community.
• To promote arts and crafts as tools for work and learning.
• Generate meeting and reflection spaces for the neighborhood.
• To promote art and cultural activities through open workshops.
• Develop self-sustaining construction techniques through recycling.
• Develop self-awareness of the local identity of places together with the community.
Sitio Eriazo invited the Scarcity and Creativity Studio to help it to consolidate its activities in the Ecuador 428 site. Before the project begun, Sitio Eriazo had cleared the site of all rubbish, had secured it by building provisional closures in its four points of access from the street, and had built provisional facilities to enable it to carry out its activities. The activities which Sitio Eriazo requirements for the site are:
A flexible events space, to accommodate theater, circus, and music performances. At present up to 100 people attend Sitio Eriazo’s performances. Cooking facilities to prepare and serve food to those attending the organised events. The events which Sitio Eriazo organizes are free, but they do charge for food. At present they have built an adobe pizza oven and BBQ grill which they use for all the cooking. Space for workshops, which will be the places where arts and crafts are taught and where the community can come to realize their projects. Toilets for those attending the events. A vegetable garden, where Sitio Eriazo can plant vegetables and herbs to be used in the kitchen.
Staff: Christian Hermansen Cordua and Solveig Sandness
Students: Anna Gran Berild, Eva De Meersman, Truls Glesne, Timothy Hancock, Morten Jakobsen, Hauk Jonathan Lien, Paul-Antoine Lucas, Carolina Martins, Malen Sønvisen Moe, Ida Gjerde Nordstrøm, Ragnhild E. Osbak, Fu Tung Sze, Silje Træen, Clara Trivino Massó, Vilde Vanberg, Yinan Zhang.
Construction time-lapse: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfLK5_ijksk