Chilean architect Cazú Zegers kicks off this year’s Foros lecture series

As part of her talk, she outlined her vast architectural oeuvre, which she defines as “prototypes in the landscape”

On 27 January, Chilean architect Cazú Zegers opened this year’s Foros lecture series organised by UIC Barcelona School of Architecture, with an online lecture entitled “La obra como ser vivo” (‘Architecture as a living being’). 

In her talk, Zegers presented the main thesis on which she bases her professional practice and which stems from an artistic thesis based on the idea of “living lightly and precariously”. “It is a low-tech approach that learns from local practices and traditional techniques and allows people to inhabit the landscape without hardly leaving a trace on the landscape. I think this is an artistic stance that Latin America can offer to the developed world,” she said. 

Since 1990, Cazú Zegers has been creating a vast portfolio of original and creative work that she defines as “prototypes in the landscape”, in reference to the search for a language of truly Latin American forms. “Landscape is to America what monuments are to Europe,” she maintains. 

Some of the most notable projects presented by the architect include the Ruralisation of Kawelluco (1995), Casa Cala (Great Latin American Architecture Award, 1993), or the award-winning Tierra Patagonia Hotel (voted Best Hotel of the Year by Wallpaper Magazine, 2016), designed as “a dialogue between the landscape, nature and the inhabitant”.  Zegers highlighted the transformative power of architecture in reference to the current environmental and health crisis. “The world is on pause, we are open to a new paradigm and it is something we cannot ignore,” she argued. 

Under the title “Expectations”, Foros 2021 will open the floor to discussions on the reconstruction projects that have emerged as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, across all areas of society, with a particular focus on architecture and urban planning.

Photography: Hotel Tierra Patagonia ©Cazú Zegers

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