The XXII Biennial of Architecture and Urban Planning of Chile: Vulnerable Habitats opens

This Saturday, January 14, the Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage, Julieta Brodsky Hernández, together with the President of the College of Architects, Jadille Baza, inaugurated the XXII Biennial of Architecture and Urbanism of Chile: Vulnerable Habitats.

Organized for the first time by these two institutions, and with the support of the Ministry of Construction and Urban Planning and the Ministry of Public Works, the inauguration saw the participation of ministers Carlos Montes and Juan Carlos García respectively and was held inside the inflatable structure by architects Smiljan Radic and Nicolás Schmidt, located in the Plaza de la Cultura, facing La Moneda on the south side of the Alameda.

The authorities and the public have been able to visit the Biennale facilities starting today, which for the first time takes place in the public spaces around the Palacio de La Moneda. Four suggestive interventions and spaces for exhibitions, meetings and conferences open and free for all the public.

“We believe that the recovery of public space is not its privatisation, but quite the opposite; it is occupying it virtuously, it is giving it back to citizens, communities, girls and boys, because we need public space to be a space for everyone,” said the Minister of Cultural Heritage and Activities, Julieta Brodsky Hernandez.

“In this sense, from the ministry we are also working on various programs, various inter-ministerial tables, to address this issue and contribute to this virtuous occupation of public space; We are working on cultural courtyards, open parks with the municipality of Santiago, we are focusing this 2023 so that all our units and programs have components for the use of public space. We are also working on the recovery of heritage and cultural buildings which have been affected in recent years due to abandonment or vandalism. It is something that worries us, because we know that culture and the arts can contribute to this, and that we can effectively help this virtuous occupation,” said the Secretary of State.

This year the event addresses the vulnerabilities of cities and territories, which today are expressed in the degradation of public spaces, in the problem of access to housing in a context of housing emergency, in the fragility of material heritage or in environmental vulnerability in a context of climate change.


“The vulnerability and degradation of our public spaces, the urgent protection of material heritage and environmental vulnerability in a context of climate crisis affecting the world. Given the challenges that await us, this XXII Biennale is transformed into a bright and necessary space to reflect on the role of architecture and urban planning in the face of this contingency”, said Jadille Baza, president of the College of Architects of Chile.

“In a significant part of these problems, architects have a lot to contribute in the construction of solutions, and this biennial will also be an invitation to elaborate proposals and agreements that allow for the establishment of common horizons in the fields of architecture, urban planning and the territory. Our Chilean Architecture and Urbanism Biennale celebrates 46 years of uninterrupted development, which make it one of the most prestigious and oldest Biennales in the world, even preceding the Venice Architecture Biennale”.

The Minister of Public Works, Juan Carlos García, also referred to these problems and the state’s responsibility to address them.

“Cities today have extremely important challenges: resilience to climate change, connectivity and reduction of inequalities. And a biennial, open to the public, where everyone can participate, is also a sign that we can work together on these challenges. As the Ministry of Public Works, we are part of this biennial because we know that public works also play an important role in resilience to climate change, connectivity and reducing inequalities. We have the common challenge of listening to each other, listening to our proposals and looking to the future, which is undoubtedly essential,” she said.

new ways of living

For the directors of the Biennale, Cristobal Molina and Loreto Lyon, this will be an opportunity to reflect on new ways of living in times of change and transformation, and on how architecture contributes to improving the quality of our built environment.

The inauguration was also attended by important architects and urban planners, such as Fernando Perez Oyarzún, National Architecture Award 2022 and Joan MacDonald, National Urbanism Award 2022, who will be awarded at the closing ceremony of the XXII Biennale, on Sunday 22 January.

The 50 works selected for the National Architecture Exhibition now occupy the exhibition pavilion in the Plaza de la Constitución, a structure that reinterprets the work carried out in 1972 in that same space by the architect Montserrat Palmer for the Ministry of Public Works, on the occasion of the inauguration of UNCTAD III.


Among the works of the National Architecture Exhibition, initiatives for the recovery of degraded public spaces stand out, such as the Civic Quarter, in Boca Sur in San Pedro de la Paz; the restoration of the Pereira Palace, in Santiago; public heritage recovery buildings, such as the Matta Sur Community Health Center; and residential complexes, such as Maestranza 1 Ukamau.

“We have an urban development model that has strengthened the market, but not the citizens and their living spaces. For this reason it is essential to make a city strengthen the role of the State, of the public, of the municipality, of the collective; not of the state apparatus as a bureaucracy, but of the idea of ​​building something for everyone. In addition to defending the city as a space of rights and justice, as a space that builds relationships, dialogue, coexistence, politics, mutual responsibility,” said the Minister of Construction and Urban Planning, Carlos Montes.

“We need to recover collective life, the city as a space that allows this life in common. This is why this space that brings us together in the city today is so important, as a place for discussion and meeting”, said Minister Montes.

On the south side of the Palacio de La Moneda, the public spaces of Plaza Bulnes feature a striking 35-metre inflatable silver-colored structure, created by architects Smiljan Radic and Nicolás Schmidt. The program of meetings, debates and conferences will take place in this temporary auditorium, with the participation of prominent exponents of architecture and urban planning; such as Iñaqui Carnicero, Ana Falú, Cecilia Puga, Frédéric Bonnet, Atxu Amann, Alejandro Aravena, Marina Otero and Smiljan Radic. Furthermore, at the end of each day it will be possible to see a selection of audiovisual works on architecture, the city and urban life curated by Arqfilmfest.

From today, the public will be able to use the space of the Plaza de la Ciudadanía as a meeting and gathering point, in two structures specially built for the Biennale. A large-scale hue that promotes moments of conversation, by Jean Araya and Miguel Casassus; and the work “A monument is a mirrored prism”, by Gonzalo Muñoz and Low Estudio, which explores different ways of looking at and projecting the future.

All the activities of the XXII Biennale are open and free to the public. The program of talks and activities is available here.

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