The red ribbon

Reurbanization of the Recoleta Square

Recoleta square is a place with its own identity. A careful reading of the place acknowledges its DOUBLE SCALE status. For the city, it is an space conceived as a entrance to Bellavista, a neighborhood of reference. It has also a high environmental potential thanks to its neuralgic position between the San Cristobal hill an de Forestal Park as well as its situation as a Mapocho river’s façade. In the neighborhood’s scale, the square is of great interest both architectural and natural interests. On one hand, here are some patrimonial pieces as the Bridge Theater, the Liceo Aleman church or the university of Chile building. On the other hand, there is a variety of local trees of a great interest to be kept in the project.

The answer to the place character is formalized with a project that generates two interrelated spaces which configures a place where a diversity of experiences and sensations are developed. One space is the square placed between universities. The other one is the garden connected to the river and which integrates almost all the trees. We propose a ribbon path that runs between the existing trees crossing from the square to the garden. The ribbon path generates a lot of different situations both in the urban space and in the landscape. The shape of this path is the response to the water linearity as well as the clear intention to formalize permeability between the Forest Park and the river on the south and the urban sector on the north.

The ribbon is a new technological device designed as module which contains all the necessary elements of the public space such as urban furniture, lighting and advertising posters. Besides, there is also a pergola area to place a craft market and a vegetal wall that provides protection from traffic noise.

Inside the garden, the tour shows off the height between the floor and the treetop, emphasizing the existing intimate and domestic character thanks to the consolidation of a very rich woody mass. During the walk path, people are able to enjoy multiple situations at the mercy of each one: there are leisure activities, children’s games, expositions, spaces where sculptures are relocated in and even a small amphitheater for neighborhood events. This area is constructed with soft materials and more trees species are added to remark its landscape and green value.

When the ribbon path arrives at the square, it becomes a long bench which generates an urban courtyard in front of the universities, able to accommodate group events as well as daily activities. This space is meant to be lively and busy because the proximity of the universities and the Bellavista new commercial activities. So, this space is thought as tough and resilient flooring capable of withstand all kind of collective events and daily movements with little maintenance.

Title: The red ribbon. A square for all, a garden for everyone

Project Name: Reurbanization of the Recoleta Square

Location: Recoleta Square, Santiago de Chile

Date: march 2012

Category: Public Space. Promenade area + New square + Green zones

Surface: 12.000 m²

Client: Recoleta’s Major

Team: Alvaro Cuéllar, Anna Gutiérrez, Daniela Muñoz, Juan Eduardo Sepúlveda


Engineer Alejandro Marín, Martí Cillero-CICSA ingeniería

Sociologist Jose Latorre