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The Paul S. Byard Memorial Lecture:
Cecilia Puga and Paula Velasco

Mon, Jan 25, 2021    6pm

The Paul S. Byard Memorial Lecture Amalgam and Juxtaposition: Recovery of the Pereira Palace and new headquarters for the Ministry of Culture, Arts, and Heritage in Santiago de Chile

Cecilia Puga and Paula Velasco with response by Jorge Otero-Pailos, Professor and Director of the Historic Preservation Program, Columbia GSAPP.

The Pereira Palace is the result of a 2012 international public competition. It consisted in the restoration of a building built in the mid-19th century and the construction of a new office building within its premises, to be used by the Heritage Division of Chile’s new Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage.

The proposal established a strategy for the recovery of the old palace which, by consolidating it structurally, would also allow to incorporate the various historical layers that the building had accumulated in its almost 150 years. This new building, made of exposed concrete and walnut floors, recovers the original typology, introducing a courtyard that provides natural light and ventilation to all of the workspaces, allowing the contemporary structure to have a permanent dialogue with the historical one.

CECILIA PUGA - PAULA VELASCO ARQUITECTURA connects independent professionals from various disciplines and specialties. Its structure and expertise are adapted to the specific areas in which it operates, in order to provide innovative and high-standard professional services at different scales and fields. Through different international competitions, the society has been in charge of the new headquarters of Chile’s Ministry of Cultures and Heritage, the infrastructure design project for Queulat National Park, and the masterplan and preliminary project for Punta Arenas’ International Passenger Terminal. Recently, together with architect Smiljan Radic, they obtained the first place for the design of the Chilean Pavilion for Expo Dubai 2020.

Cecilia Puga is the Director and founding partner of CECILIA PUGA - PAULA VELASCO ARQUITECTURA. Architect, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile 1990. Since 1995 she has developed her professional practice independently in Santiago, where she has carried out design projects at different scales and programs, from single-family homes (most notably the House in Bahia Azul), to collective housing, educational and industrial equipment, and urban design such as the renovation of public spaces in Cerro Toro. She has developed her academic activity at Universidad Católica de Santiago, at ETH Zurich’s School of Architecture, Austin’s University of Texas, GSD Harvard and at BIAarch in Barcelona.

Several national and international specialized publications have included her work, and in 2010 journal 2G dedicated its 53rd issue to her work. In 2009, hers was one of the 100 offices around the world selected by Herzog & De Meuron to design a villa in Inner Mongolia, within the context of the «Ordos 100» project, led by artist Ai Wei Wei.

Paula Velasco is Director and founding partner of CECILIA PUGA - PAULA VELASCO ARQUITECTURA. Architect, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile 2005. Master on Science Emergent Technologies and Design, Architectural Association UK, 2010. Undergraduate and Master’s Professor at Universidad Católica de Chile’s School of Architecture.

She was one of the five runner-ups of the 2013 YAP Constructo competition and was nominated for the Rolex program “Mentor and Protégé” the following year. In 2014, she was invited by Chile’s British Council to do an International Architecture Residency during the London Festival.

The Paul S. Byard Memorial Lecture celebrates the legacy of Paul S. Byard, Director of Historic Preservation at Columbia GSAPP from 2000-2008. The lecture has previously been given by Annabelle Selldorf, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, Cruz y Ortiz, Francine Houben, and Nieto Sobejano among others. Puga will be joined in conversation by Professor Jorge Otero-Pailos, Director of the MS. and Ph.D in Historic Preservation programs at Columbia GSAPP.