laudio C. Araya Arias
Forest fires are one of the greatest agents of degradation of ecosystems in the world. Although fire is part of the natural dynamics of some habitats, large disturbances cause a deterioration of their functionalities. Fire modifies biogeochemical cycles, produces changes in vegetation, soil, fauna, hydrological and geomorphological processes, water quality and even changes in the composition of the atmosphere. Each of these elements puts at risk not only the existing geography, but also directly threatens population centers, putting at risk the lives of people, their goods, infrastructure, among other things.
The 2016-2017 season of forest fires left a record of destruction never before recorded in the south-central zone of Chile. The consequences of the above were 5,244 fires with an impact of 569,989 hectares, 2,500 homes. The most serious case was the one in the town of Santa Olga, where the destruction exceeds 1,000 homes, destroying the entire city. Reconstruction is an indisputable subject, but the existing model of growth by expansion left a clear vulnerability within the territory.
The degraded soils, and the decrease of the vegetation among other variables produced by this settlement model, were part of the factors that modified the natural conditions, leaving the sector vulnerable.
WARIA LEMUY, forest city in Mapudungun (the native language of the sector).
The proposal looks for a new way of inhabiting the territory, through a system of buildings at height, avoiding the effects of the old settlement model.
The objective is to face the reconstruction from a new perspective, recover the lost housing and infrastructure, added to a restoration of the flora and biodiversity, through a system that prevents and mitigates future catastrophes., Through a renovating process that allows to coexist with the geography and the territory.
The system is positioned on the perimeter of the affected area, allowing to establish a network of routes, public spaces and wetlands rehabilitating the central area.
A modular system is proposed, with embedded base on the ground, enabling an incremental methodology. The structure of the modules that consists of wooden elements, with a metallic supporting exterior structure, allowing panoramic terraces to be added, and including enclosures that act as water collectors, as fog or as rain. The interior facade allows the transfer of controlled light through alveolar polycarbonate panels, which allow ventilation modes on the interior. The main vertical route system consists of a staircase composed of tubular and straight sections, with the possibility of attaching a vertical profile that would allow the inclusion of automated systems.
It consists mostly of housing, followed by common double-height intermediate spaces, such as interior courtyards within a system that encourages coexistence. The modularity of the type of housing allows different ways, allowing the inclusion of apartments of different stocks.
A building with the capacity to interact with the environment is proposed, through a water catchment system, which is redirected and stored in pockets on the access perimeters. With the purpose of heating the building, increase the humidity of the sector and as a network irrigation system, which would accelerate the recovery of the affected flora.
Prevention and mitigation
Formally the building is considered an element of prevention, acting as a beacon in the prevention of future catastrophic events. Its façade system allows cross ventilation of the building which slows down the major winds, its water storage system, and irrigation on the environment would allow the increase of the existing humidity, allowing both to control part of the most influential variables in the propagation of the forest fires.