Shade at the Falls
Cristian Felipe Palma Ramirez
Isla de Yaquil, Chile
Cristian Felipe Palma Ramírez
Fernando Luis Montoya Giordano (Professor) Alejandro Felipe Palma Toledo (Builder)
Cristian Felipe Palma Ramírez
In the area of Salto, the infrastructures have already been fixed in the collective memory of its people.The structures´ shape and function , cannot lose their practical quality, which is their sports´ quality. This is why, the main objective was to generate a new element that would break away from the paradigm of temporary use of the place and would bestow the construction with the idea of new uses, thus changing the ephemeral character that leads to deterioration and forgetfulness. The work is generated as a simple gesture that adds up to the existing elements in the landscape, rendering the whole apparent. It constitutes the odd factor that enhances the identity of the place, that is built according to the laws of the place, and with materials from its own environment. The work does not seek to compete. It is not more important than a half moon or offer more shade than the blackthorn, it just wants to be there, act like a question mark in front of the people, trying to complete the whole to make visible what was already there, and offer the missing elements for the construction of a new space of interaction. The stranger seeks to set the landscape in tension and to change its temporal collective memory. It attempts to maintain it along time and to value it as the new rural public space that will somehow allow to contain the posible social activities that will aid in the development of the new emerging societies.
The Project “Shades of the Fall” is conceived in response to several questions raised about the importance of revaluing rural sports infrastructures, ephemeral constructions devoid of beauty or formal expectations, which are immersed in the deepest area of the Central Valley in Chile and that have emerged out of the mere need to provide a place for the realization of games, celebrations and communal activities in the Chilean countryside. These activities, determined by the dynamics of traditions, have been the main forerunners of social movements outside urban areas, where sports infrastructures have become the main focus of interest for urban and rural masses, who congregate seeking to value the socio-cultural roots of the country , thus strengthening the development of their identity, as well as generating small, informal economies linked to such events, which provide an opportunity for social development. Although spaces for leisure activities exist in rural areas, their ephemeral character and their functional memory, have determined the abandonement and deterioration of the infrastructures, which have turned into extended desolate landscapes that wait for reactivation. For all these reasons, there is a pressing need to maintain these spaces of interaction active, to extend their useful life and improve their image, to convert them-through new practices and uses- into dynamic multipurpose public spaces. This will result in the satisfaction of new needs and practices and thus foster the development of small emerging rural societies.
Although a long period is needed to analyze the performance and the impact the work has had on its inmediate social and physical environment, it is clear that there has been an increase in the activities that have taken place in the construction itself and in its surroundings. Bonfires, talks, wedding celebrations, and leisure activities have taken advantage of times between festivities or sports events, turning the place into a new lanscape of more active and dynamic social use. This has somehow changed the quality of the place,making it “atemporal”, so to speak, which might contribute to the consolidation of a different identity for the new rural society of the Fall. The construction of something new with new functions has brought about a constant concern for the care of the place on the part of the users; there is a noticeable appropriation of the work and a positive attitude to keep it in good condition. The revaluing of rural infrastructures and their uses has held in check the constant deterioration that threatened to make them disappear, both from the landscape and from the memory of local people. The work has not been forgotten; the tree nearby protects with its shade people who talk, children trot on the platforms of the construction, farm animals from the surroundings find shelter under the work. The new leisure space prospers in memory.