Five hills border the historic center of the city of Concepción, located in the south-central zone of Chile. Each with its own form, scale, context and history. The hills Amarillo, Caracol, Chepe, La Pólvora and the Virgin are the milestones of an invisible perimeter route through the city, which surrounds another path, that which is born between the hills of the Universidad de Concepción, the main educational center of the region, and it advances by the boulevard Barros Arana, street that crosses by the center the city, until the edge of the Biobío river, fluvial axis that divides in two the metropolitan area of the Great Conception. Each of these hills is a reference for those who travel, just as a lighthouse on the coast is a warning for navigators. It is a sign and shelter for those who observe from a distance, an anonymous watchman provided, why not, with a spyglass. From that image, we devised a hypothetical route between the hills of Concepción, so that the observer can travel through them, perceiving them as destinations that they welcome, shelters to contemplate and be contemplated, to stay and advance, as places of encounter and solitude.
Specifically, we propose here a specific intervention for each hill, which does not intend to act as a definitive answer, but as an open question -in language of architectural project- in relation to a problem that still does not exist: the consolidation of a new route for Concepción. Thus, we present an autonomous object, only defined by the laws that demarcate its immediate context and that require that the contained space have a determined use within the margins of its scale and form. Each proposal is, by itself, capable of accentuating or giving meaning to a place, or, from an overall perspective, being the reference, the signal, to begin, continue, stay or finish a new itinerary through the hills of Concepción .
The publication Spyglass begins with an introduction by Sergio Leonardo Baeriswyl Rada, national award of urban planning of the government of Chile, who opens this proposal of the Azocar Catrón office, beginning the viewing of a series of architectural proposals, points or references within a Perimetral route to the center of the city of Concepción through its hills. Although this work arises from a specific geographical point and owes its nature to this, it is also an approach that leads to a question, a questioning about the ways in which architecture can come to think – to propose – the city and the ways in which that urban bodies develop.