“But it is imagination that rebuilds ruins, recreates architraves, columns and lintels; it fills empty houses and blocked roads with people; it floods with life what is now dead”
How to intervene architectural heritage?
To outline an answer to this question, it is necessary to also consider why architectural restoration is important. As mentioned by Françoise Choay, “the specificity of the monument consists […] in its mode of action on the memory used and mobilized through affectivity, so the memory of the past can make the present vibrate”. In this sense, it is worth mentioning not only the importance of the material, but it is also imperative to restore the life that the building essentially had, namely, its immaterial heritage.
San Sebastián de la Cruz Castle, also known as Corral Fort, is a part of Valdivia’s defensive system, once a series of buildings made to protect the inland settlements from foreign invaders that came from the sea. Located in the city of Corral, the castle nowadays is a tourist attraction that holds historical on-site battle reenactments organized by the community. This usage has kept the building active, but its physical deterioration is noticeable and its potential as a public space with a great view to the river mouth and to the other forts has not been taken advantage of.
The project proposes, firstly, visual communication between forts, through an illumination proposal that highlights the walls facing the sea. Then, the proposal inside the castle aims to leverage its condition as a scenographic and cultural support, adding program related to the education and teaching about the site’s history, also improving the physical condition to celebrate every historical reenactment in its full potential.
architects: Cristóbal Javier Riffo Giampaoli, Sebastián Cruz, Ken Qiu | client: Unknown | status: Competition (2015) | clasification: 1 rang | location: Corral, Chile (-39.889045, -73.426214) | climate: Oceanic / maritime, Temperate | materials: metal, stone | environments: Rural, Seaside | visualizer: Studio | scale: 4.000 m2 medium | types: cultural, pavilion | views: 4.738