Press Release

Matta Sur Complex Wins Prestigious Design Awards

Miami United States

luis vidal + architects, an international architecture firm that offers responsible and quality designs in response to the urban and social challenges of the times, has been award two prestigious awards for its Matta Sur Community Center + CESFAM project. The American Institute of Architects New York State (AIANYS) awarded luis vidal + architects a merit award in the ‘Adaptive Reuse and Historic Preservation’ category. The Gubbio Awards awarded the firm a first-place honor in the Latin American and Caribbean edition of the competition.

The Matta Sur Complex, located in the capital of Chile, consists of two buildings located within the same plot. The former Metropolitan Lyceum of Santiago, built-in 1891, was restored for social uses, such as a nursery school, gym or auditorium. The second component is a new-build construction that accommodates CESFAM, a public primary healthcare center.

“The city that takes good care of its cultural heritage is the city that listens to its past without neglecting its future. Those were our cornerstones for the Matta Sur Complex project,” said Luis Vidal, president and founding partner of luis vidal + architects. “We’re honored to be recognized by such prominent organizations as AIANYS and the Gubbio Awards 2021. It’s a true reflection of our constant objective to create high-quality designs with the community in mind.”

luis vidal + architects proposed an extensive renovation plan for the 59,000-square-foot school building. Steps included the replacement of all damaged structural elements, the installation of a new red metal roof, and the implementation of a heating and cooling system. The team also cleaned and painted the concrete facades, replaced floor tiles, and installed new wooden balustrades. The team took great care to preserve distinctive features of the building, such as the open-air corridors that run along the interior elevation overlooking the courtyard.

Additionally, the project included the construction of a central public plaza. Otherwise known as the “heart” of the complex, the extension provides the community with an open space to gather. The complete 59,000-square-foot complex was designed to create a “balance” – what Vidal called a “contemporary, austere language” – between both the historic and new buildings. The space will be utilized by approximately 30,000 users per year.

Through a careful analysis of the preexisting building, combined with a deliberate design, luis vidal + architects worked to reveal the building’s original architectural and aesthetic value. The design also emphasized spatiality, functionality, rhythm and unique use of natural light and façades. Vidal’s work created a “balance” – what he called a “contemporary, austere language” – between both the historic and new buildings.

The Gubbio Awards reviewed twenty-nine projects from twenty-four different cities and twelve countries were shortlisted, including the rehabilitation of the National Capitol of Cuba and the Management Plan of the Historic Center in Bogota.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the Gubbio Awards 2021 were awarded on September 30 through a virtual ceremony. The AIANYS Design Awards will be held virtually on October 27.

About AIA New York State

AIA New York State is the state component of the American Institute of Architects and is composed of 13 statewide chapters representing over 9,000 architecture professionals. AIA New York is the oldest and largest chapter of the American Institute of Architects with more than 5,500 architect, allied professional, student, and public members. AIANY is dedicated to three goals: design excellence, public outreach, and professional development. www.aiany.org

About Gubbio Awards

The Gubbio Awards were born in the city of Gubbio in 1960 and are promoted by the National Association of Historic – Artistic Centers (ANCSA). In 2009, the first edition for Latin America and the Caribbean was launched through an agreement with the General Directorate of Heritage, Museums and the Historic Center of the City of Buenos Aires, the Office of the Historian of the City of Havana, and the International Center for the Conservation of Heritage (CICOP Argentina).