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September 13, 2021

Foster + Partners unveils design for Chilean mixed-use project

The plans will see the regeneration of a former textile factory to create an integrated mixed-use urban quarter.

Architectural design and engineering firm Foster + Partners has unveiled the design for the mixed-use La Fabrica project in Santiago, Chile.

The masterplan involves the regeneration of an existing mid-20 century factory building, which was once a major contributor to the country’s textile industry, to create an integrated mixed-use urban quarter.

It will add 550-unit residential development on a plot next to the former textile factory in the industrial neighbourhood of San Joaquin.

Foster + Partners said that the residential blocks will use timber as a new primary building material, making it one of the first framed and cross-laminated timber developments in the region.

The residential development will comprise four eight-storey blocks at the north-west corner of the factory, located around a central square and a series of smaller courtyards in the interior of the project.

The factory was a progressive development for its time, and the workers were provided with housing and day-care facilities on neighbouring sites. This created a large low-density community.

Fosters said the new masterplan aims to re-establish the live/work links by creating a new ‘mixed-use urban quarter with a significant residential component.’

Foster + Partners partner Juan Frigerio said: “La Fabrica, our first project in Chile, seeks to establish a new approach to sustainable urbanism in Santiago, with lush landscaped civic space.

“The incredibly rich mix of uses at ground level with a variety of retail and social spaces tie the residences with the rest of the masterplan, creating a complete ensemble that is integrated at every level.”

The masterplan includes pedestrian routes at the edges of the site and features a combination of sports, entertainment and medical facilities, low-rise office spaces, shops, market stalls and restaurants.

Foster + Partners studio head David Summerfield said: “La Fabrica offers an incredible opportunity to interweave the industrial heritage of the city with the urgent present need to establish a sustainable model of development.

“The project brings together the revitalisation of a historic landmark, the creation of an exciting mixed-use neighbourhood and the construction of one of the largest new mass timber buildings in the region which will form the benchmark for sustainable buildings in the region.”

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