Chilean-designed green building awarded Pan-American prize

Architects Felipe Assadi and Francisca Pulido’s unique design incorporates nearly 120 solar panels to help heat water and rooms, as well as aluminum and zinc recycled from industrial buildings.


A sustainable building in downtown Santiago designed by Chilean architects has been awarded a prize at the prestigious Quito Pan-American Biennial of Architecture.

The Gen building on Portugal Avenue received 2nd place in the Architectonic Design category at the international award events in November.

The tower is among a growing movement in Chile to construct green buildings, some of which have received the LEED certification, an internationally recognized green buildings certification system, say the building’s architects.

The Gen, while it has not yet been LEED certified, is unique in Chile for having nearly 120 solar panels incorporated in its design. It also uses the recycled materials of aluminum and zinc from industrial buildings in its construction.

Every apartment facing north has its own solar panel located on a balcony, says the office of architect partners Felipe Assadi and Francisca Pulido. Solar energy captured by the panels is used for hot water and heating, with residents able to locate the panel wherever they wish on the balcony.

This provides energy savings of 100 per cent in the summer and 70 per cent in winter and, from a design perspective, creates an element of randomness to the building’s façade, the architects said.

Double metallic skins reduce noise from the street and provide shade for residents in the affordable housing residential complex. It is a 26-floor, 285 apartment structure.

“It is always gratifying and important in any instance where architects organize and recognize the work that one has realized,” Assadi told This Is Chile.

“There is a great preoccupation in Chile to project and construct with sustainable architecture,” he added. “It is a matter that has taken much force in the last years, where many architects have striven to become LEED certified, where clients are gaining awareness of the importance of this efficient manner and where the materials and constructive solutions begin to respond to those requirements.”