Huellas Artes: Funking Up One Santiago Plaza

“You used to play in the street: Try it!” reads the tag line of Shanghai-based 100architects new project series Huellas Artes. In this particular phase, they transformed the very grey, very dull plaza above Bellas Artes metro station in downtown Santiago, Chile into an exuberant eruption of colourful forms, highlighting the urban footprint as an artistic trail of potential.

And what is the urban footprint? It is the way in which people move, often obliviously, around their city circulation space. By placing an array of vivid trails and highlighted space, “an architectural intervention was created that proposes a new-use scene in a fully unclosed outdoor space. It is a sign or trace that recognises spontaneous functions performed there daily and expressed it graphically, complementing them with new social dynamics absolutely intended to public interaction.”

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The project only remained for a few days, the idea being to propose use of promising non-space which receives a high volume of traffic on a daily basis. The once non-functioning area was broken down into a segmented catalyst for activities, all intended to generate social relationships, spots for public performance and all-round aesthetic improvement. Through doing this, the entire spectacle became “a costume, a dress for the plaza placing itself on top of the existing and awakening new spatial possibilities on a given structure.”