Total Projects from Cazú Zegers: 5
The firm outlines a different take towards Chilean architecture, searching for an expressive architecture, closely related to Chile, its territory, landscape and vernacular building traditions. Hence, the work developed by the firm is a “work in progress” that involves a poetic reflection about the way we inhabit the territory, to find new forms.
The firm’s unique way of undertaking the design process from the relationship between poetry and architecture comes from the *Amereida Thesis. The thesis states that on his way to India Cristopher Columbus found America as a gift, thus inviting us, the habitants of America, to build a new language with shapes that correspond to our “latino” heritage, accepting ourselves as a new
culture, and dialogue with global paradigms from this source.
Cazú replies to this invitation with a “light and precarious inhabitance”, meaning low-tech architecture but with high expressive impact; understanding that the greatest asset of Chile and Latin America is in its territory: “before being a country, Chile is landscape” (N. Parra, Chilean poet). Therefore, she thinks that the development of Chile must be based on sustainable tourism, by the hand of the “original indigenous habitats”.
Cazu’s work is built under this premise: “Territory is to America, like monuments are to Europe”. Hence, her architecture is not looking to take the lead, but to be a gentle and loving addition to nature.
*Epic collective poem, published by the School of Architecture UCV 1967.
Since 1990 until the current date, Cazú has been doing architecture independently. The character of the studio Cazú Zegers is defined by the different scales amongst which the projects vary: from the object (micro) to the territory (macro) or from the territory to the object. She has explored different areas of architectonic design, from designing objects: lighting and furniture, to territorial planning and cultural management through the “El Observatorio Lastarria Foundation” where she developed investigation projects in different artistic fields. She is a renowned lecturer, in Chile and abroad.
Her artistic method is through the poetic word crossing-over the territory, which generates a gesture, a figure, and a form, setting a new cultural landscape trough architecture. This has been a legacy in the way she teaches. Her ideas remain printed in the minds of her students. She has taught in the University of Talca, also in workshops at The Pontifical Catholica University of Chile (PUC) and at The University del Desarrollo.
Cazú Zegers projects make a singular architecture, expressed mainly in residential projects and others like Capilla del Espíritu Santo (Holy Spirit Chapel), Centro Cultural Alcalde Juan Estay (Cultural Center Major Juan Estay), ruralization projects like Kawelluco, multicultural projects like the Arenales Ski Center and the Pewenche Route, where she works with local indigenous communities to create projects based on their cosmovision, and also hotels. The project Tierra Patagonia Hotel is the most renowned example of how she developed a contemporary language with the curves of the wood, looking for new architectonic shapes based on the relationship between poetry and architecture in the South American territory.