Cooperativa de Agua Potable Rural de Toconao
El casco antiguo de Toconao
El pueblo de Toconao se ubica en la parte oriente de la Cuenca del Salar de Atacama, a 38 kilómetros de San Pedro de Atacama, a una altura de 2.475 m. s. n. m., y cuenta con una población estimada en 540 habitantes aproximadamente.
Se emplaza adosada a una de las profundas quebradas que bajan desde la Cordillera de Los Andes, hasta llegar al Salar de Atacama. Esta se le conoce como “Quebrada de Jere” y el río que corre por su lecho se conoce como Río “Toconao”, este trae consigo agua dulce, y muy antiguamente en grandes cantidades, esto se desprende por las enormes horadaciones que cuenta la quebrada a medida que va descendiendo, y potenciado por su profundo encajonamiento.
Fundación de Toconao
Para el investigador Jorge Hidalgo en su libro “Historia andina en Chile”, sentencia que muy probablemente Toconao fue fundado antes que San Pedro de Atacama, en el año 1557 o 1558, por Juan Velazquez Altamirano, argumentando la “posibilidad cierta de que los españoles por temor a ataques de los “atacamas”, prefirieron ubicarse, al menos por un tiempo en la zona de Toconao, para mas tarde volver a San Pedro de Atacama. Estos datos hacen pensar que el primer centro administrativo permanente español en la provincia de Atacama con agrupamiento de indios se efectúo en Toconao y no en San Pedro de Atacama, como se había supuesto hasta ahora”.
Por tal razón, se plantea que ya existían “Toconares” en esta área, aunque se presume que no en demasía, como si ocurría en el área de San Pedro de Atacama, de manera que fue un lugar propicio para ubicarse antes de llegar definitivamente a San Pedro de Atacama.
Vista aérea de la Quebrada de Jere y el asentamiento.
The old town of Toconao
The town of Toconao is located in the eastern part of the Salar de Atacama Basin, 38 kilometers from San Pedro de Atacama, at a height of 2,475 m. s. n. m., and has a population estimated at approximately 540 inhabitants.
It is located attached to one of the deep ravines that descend from the Cordillera de Los Andes, until reaching the Salar de Atacama. This is known as "Quebrada de Jere" and the river that runs through its bed is known as "Toconao" River, it brings with it fresh water, and very old in large quantities, this is revealed by the huge holes that the stream has. as it goes down, and enhanced by its deep boxing.
For the researcher Jorge Hidalgo in his book "Andean History in Chile", sentence that Toconao was most probably founded before San Pedro de Atacama, in the year 1557 or 1558, by Juan Velazquez Altamirano, arguing the "certain possibility that the Spanish for fear of attacks by the "atacamas", they preferred to locate themselves, at least for a time in the Toconao area, before returning to San Pedro de Atacama. These data suggest that the first Spanish permanent administrative center in the province of Atacama with a group of Indians was carried out in Toconao and not in San Pedro de Atacama, as had been assumed until now ".
For this reason, it is stated that "Toconares" already existed in this area, although it is presumed not too much, as if it happened in the area of San Pedro de Atacama, so it was a favorable place to settle before finally arriving at San Pedro de Atacama.
The project is located in the town of San Lucas de Toconao, near San Pedro de Atacama, whose current settlement has the colonial imprint in its urban layout as in its religious architecture exhibited in its chapel (17744) and its bell tower (1744). This settlement of Likan root Antay (Atacameños), has a long tradition in the construction of Lipartite stone, typical of the place.
There, descendants of an old family of the town, they sought to return to the village through a project of small-scale tourist accommodation, using an old house, a vacant site and another medium-sized house, forming a single project. These lands are located in the old part of the town, between the square and the Old Forest, where the terraces of crops of the families of Toconao are developed.
We were asked to gather in these three urban areas a tourist accommodation project, which incorporates the 2 existing houses as part of the small lodging architectural program. The work itself, was to articulate through an "intermediate piece" the two existing buildings, and that from the street the intervention does not generate a scale, considering the heights and urban shape of the area.
It is proposed then a lodging, that could be developed between an architecture of local tradition in stone, and the incorporation of a new piece, of greater dimension, that lodges the new program of lodging, fundamentally in its bedrooms and zone of relaxation with a swimming pool included inside. In such a way that the use of the old house was clearly established as a reception, living and kitchen space, very similar to the use that the same house had, while the new structure, whose materiality is steel, fulfills a functional and spatially contemporary, differentiating from the traditional use of an Atacameño home in Toconao.
According to the above, it is proposed to create access through the old house, which also configures the corner. There we propose the access with the use of the traditional hall, which also allows for its location, the link between the old structure of the house, and the new part.
This new piece within the project, whose objective is to accommodate a lodging program and at the same time link with the two old existing houses, and which are part of the tourist complex, materialized through a large gallery. This even when it does not belong to the tradition of the Atacameño houses, appears on purpose to be defined as a contemporary spatial and constructive structure, seeking to establish a dialogue of transparency between its parts, in the longitudinal direction, but more important still strongly related to its transversality facing the "Old Forest", which is the area of crops and which owes its name to the tall and leafy trees that have developed there.
In this way this gallery allows to establish a contemporary relationship with respect to the landscape, thus incorporating an indoor pool to enhance this idea. In the same way, this gallery develops in double height, generating a loft in the bedrooms and being, in order to exacerbate the relationship with the surrounding landscape.
Finally, the roof, also made of steel, develops a series of roofs that, in their various partitions, form one large roof.