An aerial view of the remodeling of the Quinta Normal de Agricultura, by Teodoro Fernández and Danilo Martic between 2009 and 2010, reveals the central operation carried out: the reconstruction of the access thanks to its new use as an urban wetland of the historic lagoon and the addition of a water fountain for play and heat regulation that in turn defines the site’s front.
Within the framework of the celebrations of the Bicentennial of the Republic, the Metropolitan Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning proposed the project to remodel the Quinta Normal of Agriculture. The project by Teodoro Fernández L. and Danilo Martic V. establishes a strong appreciation for the value of the historical, architectural, territorial and urban aspects of the site.
Although the original project included a master plan for the entire site of about 36 hectares, in practice only 4.4 hectares were built corresponding to the eastern access and the traditional lagoon sector, which was highly damaged due to the large number of people circulating through it and the countless interventions that had historically been carried out in the sector.
The project considered, first, the recovery of the north-south (access through Santo Domingo) and east-west (access through Matucana Ave.) axes and their configuration to respond to new uses; second, the maintenance and replacement of tree species; and third, the incorporation of a layer of small plants in a group capable of being integrated as an emblematic access to the existing Quinta Normal park (1). To recover the historical value of the lagoon as an urban hydrological reserve, the aim was to change its use from a public pool by configuring borders that prevented spontaneous dives. Instead, the new concept would contain underwater plants and species and that would be conducive to the arrival of birds, transforming this body of water into a sort of urban wetland. In turn, and thanks to the excavation works left by the Metro, recreational activities were moved to the space between the lagoon and Av. Matucana thanks to the construction of a large fountain that allows visitors to cool down and play, especially in the summer months.
(1) Text prepared from the project report published in Revista CA 147 “Arquitectura del Paisaje” (Landscape Architecture) Fall 2011), p.74-79.