Foster + Partners Designs Mixed-Use Masterplan for Industrial Site in Chile

Foster + Partners presented its masterplan design, which focuses on adaptive reuse and programmatic diversification to revitalize the site of a Santiago factory from the mid-century. The first Chilean project of Foster + Partners is to refurbish the factory building La Fabrica and add a residential development. Timber will be used as a sustainable material for the extensions.

View of ground floor hub at La Fabrica.. Image © Foster + Partners

The factory was once a major contributor to the country’s textile industry. It used to provide housing for workers and day-care facilities on nearby sites. This helped to create a community around it. Foster+ Partners’ masterplan seeks to restore the connection between work and life through a mixed-use plan with a large residential component. The project expands the retail program to cover the entire La Fabrica. It also features a pedestrian boulevard that runs through the center of the building. This is intended to activate the industrial space. Pedestrian routes that offer diverse programming activate the site’s edges and establish a dialogue with the nearby neighbourhood.

View of residential courtyard. A series of smaller courtyards towards the interior of the site that mark the transition between public and private spaces. Image © Foster + Partners

La Fabrica is an amazing opportunity to combine the rich industrial heritage of the city and the urgent need for a sustainable development model. This project combines the revitalization of a historical landmark with the creation of a vibrant mixed-use neighborhood and the construction of one of the largest new mass timber buildings. It will be the regional benchmark for sustainable building. – David Summerfield Head of Studio, Foster + Partners.

The masterplan extends onto a neighboring site that houses a low-rise, high-density residential community. It is crossed by two boulevards lined with trees, where there is an octagonal square. The transition between private and public is marked by smaller courtyards between residential blocks. You can also find programmatic diversity along the pedestrian routes that are lined with cafes, shops and other retail functions.

View of residential courtyard. A series of smaller courtyards towards the interior of the site that mark the transition between public and private spaces. Image © Foster + Partners

La Fabrica is our first Chilean project. It aims to create a new model for sustainable urbanism with lushly landscaped civic spaces. It is a rich mixture of uses on ground level, with many retail and social spaces. This creates a cohesive ensemble at all levels. The apartments’ compact, flexible design reflects the sustainability focus of Foster + Partners.

The project is based on Chilean timber construction traditions using sustainably sourced timber. According to the designers, it will be the “first large-scale timber-framed or cross-laminated timber development” in the region.

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