UNAB Chile Students & Faculty Win Big at National Social Housing Innovation Competition

The School of Architecture of the Creative Campus at Universidad Andrés Bello (UNAB Chile) was a winner at the “Proyecta a Conciencia” (Planning with a Conscience) architecture competition organized by the German multinational construction materials firm STO. The UNAB teams took home first and third place, as well as two honorable mentions.

The competition sought ideas to improve existing social housing in Chile to benefit environmental conditions. It focused on innovations to improve and expand the homes as well as modernizing exterior building materials for improved efficiency.

The competition guidelines called for student teams guided by faculty mentors. The mentors for the UNAB teams were Mauricio Bruna Fruns and Juan Agustín Soza, both UNAB Architecture faculty members. The winning project was “Reconfiguration of Cité La Paz” by students Lissette Arancibia, Carolina Carrasco, and Sebastián Escudero, while third place went to the team integrated by Alexander Meneses, Cristina Sanz, Gonzalo Worm and Francisco Tesmer for their project “Restoration of Social Housing: Valdivia”.

The team of Maria Alemparte, Camila Valdés, and Javiera Fuenzalida received an honorable mention for their work on social housing in San Miguel. Students Javiera Castro and Maximiliano Loza also received an honorable mention for their initiative centered on housing and intergenerational spaces in the Valdivia community.

In addition, multiple other teams took part including the team of Maria Alemparte, Camila Valdés, and Javiera Fuenzalida, who focused on social housing in San Miguel, and Javiera Castro and Maximiliano Loza, whose initiative was about the housing and intergenerational space of Valdivia.

“The theme of the competition was general social housing which was a perfect fit for our academic learning process, and we thought it was a great opportunity to generate research and proposals that showcased the talent and skills of our students and compete with students of other Chilean Architecture Schools,” said faculty mentor Mauricio Bruna Fruns. Before forming the teams and developing proposals, the students did a thorough analysis of the conditions of general Chilean social housing and particular case studies. This study helped identify the issues most in need of innovation to which in turn helped better configure the final teams and generate proposals. “This previous study was of vital importance and helped us achieve this unprecedented victory, considering there were 41 projects presented by Architecture Schools from all over Chile. It was a huge success for UNAB, and a great satisfaction for us as faculty members. These achievements foster in students a spirit of healthy competition and put UNAB in the spotlight of national architecture competitions,” added Bruna Funs.