The Ruca Social Housing Complex in Chile by Undurraga Deves Architects Celebrates Local Materials and Context

The Ruca social housing complex, located in Huechuraba, the north of Santiago de Chile and features 25 units of efficiently designed 2 bedroom “town houses” for the indigenous Mapuche people.

Designed by Undurraga Devés Architects with the help of NGO Un Techo para Chile and the Ministry of Housing and Urbanism, these natural, earth friendly homes are made from concrete and local pine, and they feature prominent facades made from fast-growing coligüe cane that let breeze and sunshine flow seamlessly into the house.

The units were designed in conjunction with the Mapuche people, blending their own millenaire culture and ancient traditions with contemporary urban living, that is practical yet humble. Each unit comprising two levels covers a total of 65.6 sq m. Built in classic ‘row-house’ style, the Ruca homes overlook the East, a nod to the a tradition of opening the front door to the rising sun. The fairly large kitchen in each unit creates a space where the traditional act of congregating around a fire is kept alive.


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