12 June, 2014

Pedro Alonso interview at was found in 14th Venice architecture Biennale and spoke to the Chilean architect Pedro Alonso which snagged the Silver Lion at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale for his work on the Chilean national pavilion. Cry

By Andreas Giakoumakatos

Greek version


Pedro Alonso in discussion with Andreas Giacoumacatos on the Chilean pavilion at the Giardini - Venice, talked about the "MONOLITH CONTROVERSIES", Chilean proposal which snagged the Silver Lion at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale.


Produsers: Vasilis Mistriotis - Manolis Oikonomoy - ©


A large-concrete panel stands at the centre of the Pavilion of Chile. This was one of the first panels to come from the KPD plant-a factory that produced prefabricated housing donated by the Soviet Union to Salvador Allende's Chilean government in 1972. The panel has been the subject of several political and ideological controversies, especially after Allende himself inscribed his signature into its wet cement-a gesture that was later rendered over during Augusto Pinochet's military dictatorship heralding a period that saw the panel transformed into a Catholic icon by adding two colonial style lanterns beside a Madonna and Child.


Photo: - Gonzalo Puga,


Today, the panel seems free of both presidential signatures and Virgins. Their traits are still there, however, engraved on its patinated surface. This monolith is now presented as a ruin of modernity, both architectural and political, surrounded by the technical, typological and conceptual reconstruction of twenty-eight large concrete panel systems developed worldwide between 1931 and 1981. The story of this panel tells us about the one figure that came to replace the individual architect, the anonymous worker. Within the historiographies of modern architecture, such a building tradition represents a relatively marginal position, despite the fact that more than 170 million concrete panel apartments were built during the second half of the twentieth century.


Photo: - Gonzalo Puga,


Photo: - Gonzalo Puga,

The standing KPD panel is the centerpiece of Chile's pavilion at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition - la Biennale di Venezia: Fundamentals. The project expresses the diversity of sources of information and creates a crossover between the linear and simultaneous narratives of eight multidimensional stations:

The user's perspective comes from Silvia Gutiérrez's apartment being reproduced with second hand furniture and objects from her living and dining rooms in Viña del Mar.

A portal and a text board provide the visitor with an introduction to the pavilion's concept, the record of public and private agencies involved in this national exhibit and the team credits for the people working on this project.

The panel conveyor belt shows the scrolling inventory of pieces for the mass production of social housing made from concrete at the pace of the factory production line.

Gianfranco Foschino's still life on canvas calls for collective memories through Chilean fixed shots of housing districts built by KPD and VEP in the cities of Quilpué, Viña del Mar and Santiago thereby providing the geographical context for the visitor.

The industrial insectarium has a collection of twenty-eight models of large concrete panel buildings, which displays the genealogical evolution of this globalized technology.

A visual assortment of records of social and political change are shown as a burst of machine-gun fire of images, as bits and pieces from this corner counter-relief, making the visitor visualize the impact of KPD and VEP on the Chilean landscape and its people.

The standing KPD panel is lit to highlight the stucco, the painted surface, the remains of lamp fixtures and the rust. The traces of these things give an added significance to this temporary monument, which is a unique shot from a factory's mould that was meant for a big production run.


Photo: - Gonzalo Puga,


CURATORS: Pedro Alonso and Hugo Palmarola
COMMISSIONER: Cristóbal Molina
National Council of Culture and the Arts of Chile
GUEST ARTIST: Gianfranco Foschino
MULTIMEDIA: Francisco Hernández, Micol Riva
COMMUNICATION: Marcela Velásquez
ORGANIZER: National Council of Culture and the Arts of Chile
SUPPORTERS: Imagen de Chile Foundation


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