Publicly Supported Housing in Iquique
How to develop solutions for suitable dwellings at the centre of the desert town of Iquique in Chile.
Thirty years ago, a hundred families squatted on a piece of land and illegally built their houses there. They lived under precarious conditions. A decision was made to demolish these structures to make space for new, low-cost dwellings that the same people could purchase. In 2001 a government-supported programme was founded. »Elemental« was asked to develop solutions for suitable dwellings. The challenge was very high: Fitting 97 families in a 5,000m2 site, using US$ 7,500 per family and actively involving the community in the process. Today, some years after completion, the development radiates a sense of vitality and not one of urban chaos, as was feared. Architect: Alejandro Aravena, Santiago de Chile