Architecture Foundation Australia

International Alumni Projects

Projects by the great community of participants on 'oz.e.tecture' events

..... Valparaiso Chile ...... Camilo Moraes .......

Camilo Moraes Zambrano, 


, Chile : Glenn Murcutt Master Class 2011

[ disaster relief : emergency housing : timber pallets : volunteers : straw : mud : recycled ]

Minga Valpo Emergency Housing

Cerro Merced, Cerro Mariposa, Cerro Las Cañas. Valparaíso, Chile

After the major

fires in April 2014 in Valparaíso, Chile

, a group of young architects went to the port city to develop a reconstruction project based on energy efficiency, recycled materials, and adaptability to Valparaíso's topographic context. 

Before and After


Minga Valpo

 project has not only achieved these objectives, but it has also allowed families to help build their own houses.

The Minga Valpo project came about due the fire, which occurred in Valparaiso which completely burned down the homes of more than 3000 families. 

United by a common vision, a team of young architects, volunteers and families set out to offer sustainable solutions to people living in the affected areas. Paying careful attention to each location, its topography and orientation, the group has made progress in building thermal efficient homes with the use of local and recycled materials.

The construction of the houses has taken place through workshops with volunteer labor (without previous experience in construction) and is being led by a team of professional volunteers.

Knowing how to build our own living spaces has always been a part of the human condition. The concept of the Minga is therefore to provide the necessary tools to reconnect with this ancient tradition.

The building technique favors the use of natural and recycled materials, conserves solar energy and allows for easy replication. 

The proposed model is based on a backbone of rough pine pallets as walls. The wooden pallets are filled with straw, that serves as thermal insulation, and are coated with a mix of mud and straw which acts as thermal mass. Once the scratch coat is dry a fine plaster of lime is applied to make the wall waterproof, while still allowing the clay to breathe -- one of the intrinsic properties of building with mud. 

Several experts in bioconstruction have also been a part in the experience, such as master Gonzalo Vargas who performed a special workshop of fine lime mud plaster.

Three months after the fire struck, Minga Valpo had built three houses, a place of 'encounter' and an ecological bathroom module. 

The work has been fueled by the affection of the people involved and the families that offered material donations. The project has become an amazing experience of architecture and unity of the people under a common goal ... to build sustainably. 

Volunteer Team :

Carolina Moraes, Cristobal Hughes, Camilo Moraes, Anita Oyarzun, Constanza Cabezas, Sergio Levet, Barbara Inostroza,Barbara Isler, Macarena Cima, Rodolfo Rubio, José Murillo, Rohan Sutherland, Gerardo Coli, Estaban Moraga, Jano Ponce y Romain Ferrini.


Ricardo Luna

Photography : Camilo Moraes, Sergio Levet, Felix Po

Camilo Moraes : 



architects thinking locally acting globally


Lindsay Johnston