March of 2011 saw the release of a groundbreaking book that synthesized the best works of Chilean architecture of the past two decades, in one glossy and thorough compilation entitled Blanca Montaña. Photos, text in Spanish and English, and interviews with the architects all helped illustrate the idiosyncrasies and nuances of Chilean architecture.
“[Blanca Montaña] highlights projects uniquely d’autuer, presenting a simplicity of form, and focusing on the use of few resources,” Claudia Pertuzé, Executive Director of Ediciones Puro Chile told ThisisChile. “Together [the works] achieve a high quality project that is visually attractive and representative of a truly unique style of architecture.”
Works like Teresa Moller’s Punta Pite, pictured above, capture the heart of Blanca Montaña. Moller’s organic series of stone walkways weave over a rocky coastline to the north of Valparaíso. Made from the same kind of coastal stone, but geometric in form, her paths and stairways both blend and contrast with their surroundings.
A year after its unveiling, its publishers at Ediciones Puro Chile wondered how they could bring this work to a larger and more diverse audience. They arrived at the idea of converting the Blanca Montaña into a dynamic multimedia display.
The foundation of this would be on a series of short films focusing on 13 of the 121 works found in the original book. In July Pablo Casals-Aguirre was commissioned to make the films, and proved a perfect fit for the task, being a documentary filmmaker and an architect.
After a feverish month, Casals-Aguirre’s films were debuted at the Centro Gabriela Mistral (GAM) beside photography extracted from the book, and printed copies of Blanca Montaña itself.
The short films help bring each piece of architecture to life, capturing how people interact with the works once they are completed.
The Blanca Montaña multimedia exhibit is on tour in Europe, and just finishing up a month long showing in the Aedes Gallery in Berlin. Stops are planned for London and Paris although the dates and locations have not been finalized yet. While the book Blanca Montaña is currently out of stock, its editors are working on a revised edition that will be available by 2013.
“We looked for a way to position our country abroad,” Pertuzé explained. For her, Blanca Montaña has become, “a way of transmitting our culture through a medium that is communicative, clean and easy to comprehend.”