Chile

Isolated in upright position, a large-concrete panel stands on the center of theChilean Pavilion at the 2014 Venice International Architecture Exhibition. This was one of the first ever produced by the Chilean KPD plant—an industry to produce prefabricated housing donated in 1972 by the Soviet Union to the Chilean road to socialism led by president Salvador Allende.

Monolith Controversies is a work by Pedro Alonso and Hugo Palmarola based in a research project documenting the 153 housing blocks built in Chile by the KPD plant, as well as the technical, typological and conceptual reconstruction of twenty-eight large-concrete panel systems developed and disseminated worldwide between 1931 and 1981.

This piece of concrete represents a relatively marginal tradition in the historiographies of modern architecture despite the fact that more than 170 million large-concrete panel apartments were built worldwide during the second half of the twentieth century. Thus the panel becomes fundamental symbol to the absorption of modernity proposed as the concept for the 2014 Venice International Architecture Exhibition.

The Chilean Pavilion at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition is the result of collaboration between the curators and a team composed by Gonzalo Puga, José Hernández, Felipe Aravena, Micol Riva and Martín Bravo, with the participation of Gianfranco Foschino as invited artist.

Commissioner: Cristóbal Molina (National Council of Culture and the Arts of Chile)

  •  
  • Open:
    Saturday, 07 June 2014
  • Close:
    Sunday, 23 November 2014
  • Address:
    Arsenale, Castello, 30122 Venezia
  • Web:
    Monolith Controversies
  • Opening hour:
    10am – 6pm
  • Closing day:
    Monday
  • Admission:
    Ticket
  • Photo credits:
    1. A window panel is the protagonist of a ceremony at the KPD factory, Quilpué, photo by Nolberto Salinas González (1974); 2. Allende signing a panel, photo by Nolberto Salinas González (1972-1974); 3. Commemorative KPD panel standing at the entrance of the plant, photo published in Jimena; Staggered axonometric drawing of Chilean KPD System (1972-1975), credits Pedro Alonso and Hugo Palmarola

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