Sewell mining settlement: Construction of a unique landscape as an adaptive process to a complex and hostile territory

Muñoz, María Dolores; Bisbal, Ignacio

Keywords: company town, copper mining settlement, industrial landscape, extreme landscape


Sewell, the copper mining settlement declared World Heritage Site in 2006, constitutes a remarkable example of adaption to extreme territorial conditions. It is located in the mountain range of Los Andes (Chile), at more than 2200 m of altitude, in a steep topography, isolated, exposed to a rigorous climate with snow and strong winds, avalanches and earthquakes. The result of this adaption process is a singular landscape expressed in a stepped urban form and a constructive system that gradually adjusted to an adverse environment. The social, productive and technological structures show the peculiar character of the site. The main component of this urban structure is a monumental staircase, built on the highest slopes, which runs through the camp, dividing the housing areas and the industrial zone. Besides, the staircase is a social axis that links the camp public spaces and connects with stairs and passages the access to the houses and buildings that followed the topography. Therefore, this work focuses on the answer to an imposing and inhospitable geography, transforming it in a habitable place through creative solutions at an urban, architectural and constructive scale.

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Fecha de publicación: 2018
Página de inicio: 1230
Página final: 1239
Idioma: Inglés
Financiamiento/Sponsor: UNESCO Chair on Landscape, Cultural Heritage, and Territorial Governanc
Notas: The book of XVI INTERNATIONAL FORUM Le vie dei Mercanti is Under Evaluation ISI Web of Science and Scopus