Name of project: Agua Dulce Urbanization
Garden surface: 10 ha
Construction year: 2017
Location: Huentelauquen, Región de Coquimbo, Chile
This project sought to enhance and protect the existing Norte Chico ecosystem, a special area of the Chilean coast, in a magnificent geographic location: a large beach with dunes and a wonderful view of the green stretches of the coastal Andes. Temperatures are moderate throughout the year while rainfall is scarce.
On my first visit, I identified with the undulating language of the dunes and the shore, the jagged nature of the rocks and the presence of indigenous vegetation. Using these elements, I conceived a plan that respected the existing vegetation and introduced new native plants along with an irrigation system to encourage their growth.
The project includes an extensive residential project with 10 landscaped hectares in a location where the existing vegetation is practically untouched –especially in the gullies– and almost every species that grows in the region can be found.
It includes a central park, the ‘Encounters Park’, whose plan, paths and furniture are inspired by the geometry of an existing estuary that was channelled to protect the residential areas and control storm surges in winter. The natural footprint of the rainwater was converted into pedestrian paths and walkways, respecting and reinforcing the contours of the existing vegetation and creating rest areas, a play area and other recreational spaces.
Another park, the ‘Linear Park’, is located on a plain that happened to be flooded the previous winter, when the rainwater flowed freely over its surface. This inspired me to work in the same language, creating curves that follow the path of the water and an artificial ridge that leads to the sea.
Both parks include walls and furniture made from local stone and elements that evoke the gullies and streams, as well as benches that simulate the branches and tree trunks swept along by the water after heavy rainfall.
Another area, the ‘Plaza of the rocks’, is a promenade inspired by the angular language of the rocky coast with a wooden walkway that runs along the shore and over the outcrops to provide a pedestrian path from the cove across the beach and up to the hotel, cabins and viewpoint.