The 27 February 2010 earthquake in Chile, one of the strongest ever recorded, devastated the country, especially rural communities where buildings were made of adobe. One of the worst hit towns was Pumanque, where 80% of its buildings became uninhabitable. In 2013 Chile a Soñar, a community development group who had been working in the town since the earthquake, and the Municipality of Pumanque invited The Scarcity and Creativity Studio to design and build a facility to be used for community development, craft training workshops, and social events.

A timber screen-wall wraps the project and mitigates the strong sun while allowing cross ventilation. There are two main rooms for diverse activities separated by an outdoor entrance lobby. Above, a roof terrace shaded by an auxiliary membrane canopy encourages outdoor activities in the shade while enjoying distant views. To encourage the use of the terrace by children it has been provided with two outdoor stair entrances and one slide to descend to the ground floor.

Construction video:
Teaching Staff: Christian Hermansen Cordua, Michael U. Hensel, Solveig Sandness, Joakim Hoen, Haakon Matre Aaserød
Students: Harold Vermeiren, Christiana Thorsen Clarke, Margarita Chaskopoulou, Marte Guldvik, Marina Haga, Jonas Osthagen Hamar, Anniken Høgset, Shohreh Kheirati, Kaja Gladhus Kolstad, Kamilla Merete Kristiansen, Gro Krüger, Caroline Krenc, Taavi Löoke, Ranveig Hesselberg Meland, Annette Katherine Mohr, Eskil Frøyen Nybø, Liv Mari Oppebøen, Brianne Parquier, Elissavet Pertigkiozoglou, Randi Ravndal, Erik Reiten, Kinga Rusin, Truls Schiefloe Sandbakk, Hedvig Margrethe Sanderud, Øistein Magnus Schive, Eirik Stiansen, Gustav Mattias Jitzhak Tellqvist, Magnus Vågan.
Sponsors: AAAD, Astrup & Hellern Architects, Halvorsen & Reine Architects, IARK, Marwin, NORDIC Office of Architecture, ØKAW, Norwegian Steel Assocication, Ratio Architects, Vink AS.
Awards: Excellence in the use of Wood in Architecture Award 2013 (TreFocus)

The Scarcity and Creativity Studio in Latitude 34S: Founded in the XVII century as the seat of a large country estate Pumanque had a rich colonial heritage until it was heavily damaged by the earthquake of 03:34 am on February 27, 2010, which destroyed most of the houses and their external corridors that lined the town’s streets. The quake did not make exceptions, also destroying the church of Our Lady of the Rosary and the Municipality buildings. In 2013 The Scarcity and Creativity Studio was invited to help in the task of re-building the town, which is located in central Chile, 150 kilometres south-west of Santiago and has 3500 inhabitants.
Shortly after the earthquake a not-for-profit organisation, whose members are university students and graduates, called Chile a Soñar (Chile, let’s dream!) moved into Pumanque with the purpose of helping the ravaged town through social work, education, and community organisation (www.chileasoñ  As the work of Chile a Soñar took place during holidays they were allowed to use the school for their activities. However, once the holidays were over the school reverted to normal use, leaving those that had been trained with no place to practice their newly acquired skills. What Chile a Soñar needed was a multi-purpose community hall which remained open during the whole year.
During the latter half of 2013 and the first half of 2014 The Scarcity and Creativity Studio designed and build a community facility to satisfy the needs of both the people of Pumanque and those of Chile a Sonar.
At the beginning of 2014 the Municipality of Pumanque donated a site for the location of the community centre adjacent to a disused girls boarding school, soon to be converted into an economic development centre. During construction, the ex-girl’s school was used to accommodate the Scarcity and Creativity Studio’s construction team.
The project consists of two multipurpose rooms accessed from a common entrance terrace in which diverse community activities can take place. The building is wrapped in a timber screen-wall which mitigates the strong sun and allows for cross ventilation. Over the ground floor is a roof terrace shaded by an auxiliary membrane canopy. The terrace is an outdoor room with views of the distant landscape. It is conceived as a space where children can play while their parents are engaged in activities below. To encourage play two stairs up to the terrace and a slide down to the ground are provided. A video of the construction of the project can be viewed in