How architects and artists turned an urban dump in Chile into a performance space

Architecture International
THE WAVE. (COURTESY THE SCARCITY AND CREATIVITY STUDIO)

THE WAVE. (COURTESY THE SCARCITY AND CREATIVITY STUDIO)

Sitio Eriazo—a Chilean collective of recent graduates from theater, art, and architecture schools—worked with the Oslo School of Architecture and Design’s Scarcity and Creativity Studio to recover an abandoned urban space in Valparaíso, Chile.

THE WAVE BLEACHERS. (COURTESY THE SCARCITY AND CREATIVITY STUDIO)

THE WAVE BLEACHERS. (COURTESY THE SCARCITY AND CREATIVITY STUDIO)

First, the team cleared waste to attract less vermin, and provisional closures were installed in the four points of street access. Then, the Wave—a flexible performance space for theater, circus, and music—was installed.

Wooden stairs and seating sit upon staggered ribs and beams. Underneath of the undulating seating is a semi-shaded space where food is grown, prepared, and distributed to audience members. Currently, Sitio Eriazo’s audiences reach up to 100 people.

SHADED AREAS BENEATH BLEACHERS. (COURTESY THE SCARCITY AND CREATIVITY STUDIO)

SHADED AREAS BENEATH BLEACHERS. (COURTESY THE SCARCITY AND CREATIVITY STUDIO)

The Wave is also a space for workshops and community projects. Sitio Eriazo uses workshops to promote art and cultural activities and to strengthen Valparaíso’s local identity. 

In 2003, Valparaíso was titled a UNESCO World Heritage Site. UNESCO described Valparaíso as, “In its natural amphitheatre-like setting, the city is characterized by a vernacular urban fabric adapted to the hillsides that are dotted with a great variety of church spires. It contrasts with the geometrical layout utilized in the plain. The city has well preserved its interesting early industrial infrastructures, such as the numerous ‘elevators’ on the steep hillsides.”

PERFORMANCE AT THE WAVE. (COURTESY THE SCARCITY AND CREATIVITY STUDIO)

PERFORMANCE AT THE WAVE. (COURTESY THE SCARCITY AND CREATIVITY STUDIO)

Sitio Eriazo and the Scarcity and Creativity Studio not only recovered Valparaíso’s heritage within an abandoned lot but have made it a tool for cultural growth.

(COURTESY THE SCARCITY AND CREATIVITY STUDIO)

(COURTESY THE SCARCITY AND CREATIVITY STUDIO)

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