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K+M Arquitectura y Urbanismo


October 2022


Sharif Kahatt (Partner), Marta Morelli (Partner)



Alianza Francesa de Lima


Sharif Kahatt / Renzo Rebagliati


The proposal consists of the insertion of a wooden pavilion in the back patio of the Alliance Françoise Cultural Center. This structure, without affecting the existing trees, is placed in the middle of a new garden that surrounds it with lush vegetation that shelters the activities and generates an interior landscape that provides a buffer from the city’s noise and pollution. The project transforms the space enabling it to become a cultural arena, a meeting place, and a social venue. The complete area intervened is 770m2, and it includes a new pavement for the covered area, new gardens, new pedestrian paths, and planters with bushes and vegetation. The area defined by the pergola is 340m2 covered by the wooden glulam beams and joists that intersect and reinforce each other. These beams are connected to the top of the perimeter columns with embedded metal joints that ensure their resistance. This new open and translucent structure solves the challenge of bridging spans up to 14 meters long, which have the effect of presenting a light structure, sustainable due to its long life and low impact in construction, and which, in addition, is perceived as a basic assembled piece. This structure is made out of laminated wood, both in its columns and beams, to achieve the spans, dimensions, and structural resistance. The wood is finished with an oil-based coloring coat and the roof is covered with a 10mm transparent polycarbonate sheet, which protects it from the sun's rays or light rains.


The commission is the result of an architectural competition that requested the design of a new place for multiple activities that dialogue with the existing heritage building. The project embraced the requirements and also, proposed the improvement of the neighborhood through the intervention of building a back façade. On the one hand, the project took advantage of the commission to create an interior space and turned it into a meeting place for the citizens, a privately owned public space. It proposes a pergola surrounded by green areas, which not only brings together the Alliance Française community but also improves the urban space of the whole neighborhood, particularly on Petit Thouars Avenue by creating a new entrance. Espacio Libertad provides a place for time out and cultural activities in a contemporary space. The design of the structure and the new entrance on the back facade is in tension with the monumental and historical façade of the main entrance —on Av. Arequipa. In this way, that building now enjoys a new frontage towards Petit Thouars Avenue, providing activity in the street, which creates security and conditions to generate a sense of citizenship in the urban space. Finally, this work creates a new space for culture in the city, an “open stage” in a literal and figurative sense, allowing not only to offer conferences, exhibitions, performances, plays, or musical presentations but, above all, offering a new framework of “freedom” for the presentation and exploration of new artistic performances in wide-ranging formats and all kind of celebrations.


The Espacio Libertad responds to the need for growth and flexibility in the institution’s use of spaces, which also seeks to value the existing building. The proposal of a light and large structure accompanied by new green areas and abundant vegetation is also accompanied by the design of a new independent entrance, with a new image of the city. In that aspect, the project surpassed the original scope of the project of creating an interior space by contributing to citizens, local culture, and the city. For Alliance Françoise, there is a clear added value of the project, by recognizing that the intervention gives a new and contemporary image to the institution. Likewise, it is a space with a life of its own, with multiple forms of appropriation and uses by visitors, guests, and students. The pavilion, although its contemporary expression creates a dialogue with the heritage building by respecting the heights and proportions of the environment. In addition, it seeks connection with nature, through the vegetation that creates a microcosm of calm. Likewise, the design of the space provides a sustainable attitude, in both, low consumption of resources and energy efficiency: laminated wood structure (Glulam), LED lights, and recycled fiber curtains. In this way, Freedom Place has become a new meeting space for neighbors and citizens, who through events interact regularly, improving their quality of life daily.

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