In February 2017, several fires affected various places in Chile, with one of the most affected areas being the Maule River región, dedicated mainly to the forestry industry. Santa Olga is a town that was completely consumed by the fire, becoming an emblematic case not only because of the tragedy, but also because of the efforts invested in its reconstruction. The town, which had emerged as an informal settlement for lumber workers between the road to Constitución and the Purapel River, grew over the years to have 400 houses housing more than 1,800 people. The area is surrounded by pine and eucaliptus plantations, forestry activity that has sustained the region´s economy for many years, but that has also destroyed the richness and natural balance of native flora and fauna. The park´s gardens are designed to allow nature to initiate a reconstruction process by itself. Likewise, the planted species will allow new species to colonize with the help of insects and birds. The layout of the trails and gardens follows the slope, occasionally finding poppies, roses, or plants from some burned-down house´s orchards.
Matías Zegers Arquitectos
Nina Vidic, Alice Giers and Diego Miranda
Lirio Paisaje and HDG Estudio Paisaje
Daniela Díaz and Catalina Hormazábal