Earth and Stone, Santiago's Arquitectural Raw Materials
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The first Santiago of Chile's architecture was built with foreign forms of Spanish origin, but using existing local materials that were then available in Chile's central valley. Thus, earth and stone were the walls' raw materials during that first architecture: raw and baked earth were the basis of residential architecture in the city while stone coming from close hills, the basis for religious and monument architecture. These two raw materials enabled the erection of a strong and austere architecture in the capital city during its first three centuries of life. This condition started to change in the mid XIX century due to the gradual increase in the use of wood, and by the early decades of the XX century with the appearance of industrialized materials that changed and diversified the character of Santiago architecture forever. As part of an ongoing research, based on historiographical sources and the direct analysis on the historic building techniques present still in Santiago downtown, this article will make known the material culture that predetermined the first capital city architecture; thus, evidencing the close relationship between matter, constructive technologies and possible architecture. All this, under the context of a seismic scenario as Santiago.
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