Structures of the Andes: Architecture without Architects
February 5, 2009, 10:13 am
Filed under: Architecture, Industrial Architecture, Rural Architecture, Travel


On a recent trip to South America we took the opportunity to cross the Andes Mountain range.  Los Libertadores Pass reaches an elevation of 11,483 feet and connects Argentina’s wine country, to Santiago, Chile.  The 8 hour bus trip was fascinating and we were stuck to the glass like paparazzi for most of the journey.  Of particular interest were the abandoned structures once used to protect outdated train tracks from the snow, ice and wind.  Odd as it may be, these dilapidated structures seemed to belong within this pristine environment.  There is an uncanny harmony that exists between these modest, horizontal skeletons and the dramatic backdrop of the mountains.


No architect was involved with these structures – they’re too straight-forward and functional.  An architect would have adulterated them by over-designing them.  Ironically, despite the design efforts of architects, it is often the brutally pragmatic, utilitarian structures devised by engineers that fit in most harmoniously with nature.

In order to better communicate the scale and grandeur of these scenes, today’s photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.










[All photos by BUILD LLC]


5 Comments so far
Leave a comment

fantastic pics! alot of these structures remind me of the old mining ruins here in colorado. strikingly similar, but these you are showing seem to be more eloquent and in harmony with the land.
thanks for sharing.

i hope you don’t mind that i link this site on my blog.


Comment by archaalto

Archaalto – thanks for taking a look and we’re honored that you’re linking to us. You run a very nice blog. Everybody should get their eyeballs over to theartofwhere for some clean, modern architecture.

Comment by buildllc

So these photos were taken from inside a moving bus? Not bad.

Comment by Gus

What an amazing landscape.

Comment by fred

This made me decide to hire an engineer instead of an architect for my new home!

Just kidding. Jeesh.

Comment by Les Fitzpatrick

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