Cruz del Sur Building. Tower raised on an inner plaza that increases its plant according to height and falls on a shaft defying gravity.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Authors
Luis Izquierdo W., Antonia Lehmann S.B.
Collaborators
Juan Hurtado, Santolaya Ingenieros consultores (ingeniería estructural)

Location
Avenida Apoquindo, Santiago de Chile
Built Surface
43.129 m²
Project year
2006-2009

Photos
Luis Izquierdo, Cristóbal Palma

This commercial office tower is located at the intersection of Av. Apoquindo, main axis of Santiago, and Av. Américo Vespucio, ring road of the city, immediately to one of the busiest subway stations. Given the high pedestrian density, we decided to clear the floor level as much as possible to release its interior as an extension of public space. We concealed large part of the commercial area of ​​the program, forming a corner of an accessible interior square on three of its fronts, and placed the tower raised on this square, falling only in a central shaft, which concentrates both the installations and the seismic structure of the building .

The building on the square consists in a square floor plan supported on the structural core and on a series of perimeter pillars dilated of a glazed enclosure, that converge in the shaft like buttresses on the sky of the square. The reduction in the volume base (at the height of the fourth floor) is compensated by the incremental enlargement in the upper floors in order to conserve the total built area. This allows to:

  • Reduce the shaded area by the suspended base of the tower, improving the proportion of outer space covered.
  • Close the angle of the diagonal shoring that discharges the supporting perimetral structure of the series of overlapping slabs.
  • Increase the salable surface in high floors, whose price is higher.
  • Define the silhouette of a memorable landmark placed in the axial end of Apoquindo Avenue.

 

The triumph of structure over gravity becomes more perceptible the closer we approach from below to the raised mass, until this as a totality disappears from our visual range; and the estimation of dimensions changes with the sensation of danger, as in vertigo. The trapezoidal form of the facades, and the distorted grid of columns supporting the perimeter edges of the slabs, seek to enhance the architectural condition of the immovable, static object: mental assimilation to an orthogonal order of this distorted form induces a misleading adjustment of the perception of the aplomb, and varies as the observer’s point of view changes in its approach to the building. In this project we wanted to synthetically combine the gravitational weighting of the mass with the perspective condition of the perceived space, both determinants of the architectural experience.