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Centro de Educación Técnica INACAP La Granja

Undurraga Deves Arquitectos

La Granja, Santiago, Region Metropolitana, Chile

March 2023


Cristián Undurraga (Architectural Designer)


Sebastián Mallea (Executive Architect), Roberto Saez (Project Architect)




Roland Halbe


At this campus, INACAP offers the following technical careers: Information Technology and Cybersecurity, Electronics and Telecommunications Technician, Automation and Robotics Technician, Automotive Mechanics Technician, and Construction Technician.
Despite the specificity of the programs, we have proposed a neutral floor plan which, considering the technological changes and new forms of learning that occur at an increasingly accelerated rate, allows for a continuous renewal of the space, guaranteeing the relevance and vitality of the building over time.
The required program has been divided into two buildings.
The longitudinal building, which constitutes the most iconic image of the ensemble, houses classrooms, libraries, administrative offices, and a cafeteria. The building has 4 floors above the city level, one habitable sunken floor, and a parking floor underneath. Internal distribution is achieved through a bridge like corridor that allows for the distribution of overhead light descending along the axis. In order to reduce energy consumption, we have concentrated air conditioning only in 3 areas: Library, Offices, and Cafeteria. For the rest of the premises including the workshop building, only a system of air renewal and natural ventilation is used.
The second building, with a more industrial character, acts as a hinge with the highway that runs in front of the project. This volume houses the workshops and laboratories. Given the narrowness of the land we had, the sports program is located on the roof of this building, leaving the garden arranged at the basement level as a quieter area.


INACAP is a non-profit institution of Higher Education whose aim is to provide technical and professional training to workers, thereby making an invaluable contribution to the country's development. The work shown here corresponds to the headquarters built in the district of La Granja, 15km south of downtown Santiago. It is a working-class district, primarily residential, with very low density and poor urban attributes.
The available land was a residual triangle on the edge of a highway and close to Santa Rosa Avenue, which connects the district to the city center. It is an area of high congestion and urban friction, conditions that demanded a containment strategy from the building.
The adopted "L" layout allowed us to create a green courtyard facing north as a recreational area. The vegetation arranged here, along with the strategy of sinking this courtyard to a lower level than the adjacent streets, created a buffer to mitigate the impact of the highway on the building.
The construction consists of a system of rigid reinforced concrete frames, allowing flexibility in interior distribution. The longitudinal building housing neutral rooms inside is characterized on its exterior by a dense succession of precast concrete pillars, a resource that controls external light while simultaneously creating a protective screen against the immediate surroundings.
The compact workshop building, with a more industrial appearance, incorporates a system of small windows to isolate itself from the nearby urban context.


The lack of urban attributes of the neighborhood imposed us a challenge of "building a place" where there non exist. The strategy of constructing a building radical in its volumetrics and neutral at the same time made possible the articulation of the different realities surrounding the project. Gradually, the building has become a urban landmark contributing to the positive transformation of the neighborhood.
From the beginning, the project has been very well received by the community, and its physical integration into a complex context has been successful.
On the other hand, both the exterior space (sunken courtyard) and the different interior spaces, the uses occur with total naturalness, embracing the well-being of the users.
An issue that arose after the building was put into use, and that neither the architects nor the client had anticipated, was the interest and need of the neighbors to use the facilities of the building (library, auditorium, internet, or rooms) for community activities unrelated to the institution's program, thereby addressing the deficit of community infrastructure in the neighborhood. The opening of the building to the community has generated a close bond between the residents of the municipality and the institution, making architecture a vehicle for social integration.

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