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Arquitectura y Urbanismo

On-line version ISSN 1815-5898


VIDAL ROJAS, Rodrigo. Sustainable Adaptation and Invention in the Design of the Chilean Evangelical Temple. au [online]. 2015, vol.36, n.2, pp.77-92. ISSN 1815-5898.

This text discusses sustainability in architecture and its relation to vernacular building techniques, i. e., how adaptation and invention marked the creation of some of the first places of worship of the Chilean evangelical church. An analytical method was adopted for the study of how the temples were designed and built, and a mixed inductive-deductive method was employed for the identification of key practices that made possible low-power consumption and a minimal impact on the environment. Two main practices were identified. The first one consists in the reuse of buildings, structures, materials, furniture and typologies (adaptation). The second practice involves the creation ex nihilo of solutions for load-bearing structures, construction details and modes of financing (invention). Having demonstrated the sustainable qualities of the temples’ construction, in the early twentieth century, and with the certainty that such techniques are perfectly feasible today, this paper concludes that the impediment to sustainable construction today is ethical - not technical.

Keywords : evangelical temple architecture; sustainable design; recycling; Chile.

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