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Las Nieves Technical Vocational School

Pablo Casals-Aguirre

Protector of Childhood.


Not everyone grows up the same. Not everyone has the same privileges, the same quality of life, or the same opportunities. As we grow up and take our position in the world we are shaped by the opportunities that are available to us. Pablo Casals-Aguirre brings us in closer to the students at the Las Nieves Technical Vocational School, showing us how the architecture is intertwined into their daily lives.

The school is associated with the Fundación Educacional Protectora de la Infancia, and acts as a refuge for disadvantaged children. The primary building featured in Casals-Aguirre's video is an intervention on the original campus that was constructed in the 1930s and '40s, but was damaged by the 2010 earthquake. WRL Arquitectos repaired the damaged structure on part of the campus and replaced three irreparably damaged wings with two new pavilions that feature an external steel structure. The new pavilions provide a façade for the campus, and shelter an internal courtyard.

Casals-Aguirre moves us through a typical day at the school, allowing us to imagine the life of the students there. The students themselves are the focal point of the video, and the architecture becomes a backdrop for their daily activities. We observe the school through the eyes of the students, and see how the new structure supports and nurtures them. The intervention by WRL Arquitectos physically supports the existing campus, but also protects and enables its students by providing an oasis for the nurturing their childhood growth and development.

Authors icon Credits

Architect: WRL Architects
Mentioned project: Las Nieves Technical Vocational School
Project location: Puente Alto, Santiago, Chile
Music: Chris Zabriskie
Sound Design: Pablo Casals-Aguirre

Chile 2015
Duration: 3'55''