Open City: In the Chilean City of Valparaiso, a Former Prison Has Been Transformed into a Centre for Culture, Giving a New Perspective on the Site's Complex Political and Social History
A labyrinth of narrow streets courses down a steep escarpment to a narrow strip of coastline and the port of Valparaiso. Beginning with the Spanish settlement and especially in the 19th century, it flourished as an essential stop for ships routed around the 'Horn. In the 1910s, it was devastated by an earthquake and bypassed by the Panama Canal. Today it's a colourful relic, its trading activity much diminished, its mansions and vintage funiculars quietly decaying. A gargantuan parliament building marks Pinochet's clumsy effort to reinvigorate downtown. A far better symbol of the city's continued vitality is the new Ex Carcel Parque Cultural, located halfway up the slope, which combines open space for recreation and public events with a performance venue and studios for creative activities.
The Spanish levelled the five-acre site to build a fort, and this was later converted into a jail where political prisoners were confined and tortured during …
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Publication information: Article title: Open City: In the Chilean City of Valparaiso, a Former Prison Has Been Transformed into a Centre for Culture, Giving a New Perspective on the Site's Complex Political and Social History. Contributors: Not available. Magazine title: The Architectural Review. Volume: 232. Issue: 1389 Publication date: November 2012. Page number: 40+. © 2008 EMAP Architecture. COPYRIGHT 2012 Gale Group.
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