By Enrique Browne, Browne & Swett Arquitectos, Chile

Santo Tomas Professional Institute is located in a very busy corner of Vicuña Mackenna Avenue in Santiago, Chile. An important issue was the oppressive presence of a metro station of 150 meters in length, located in front of the site – four stories high. The only visual relief occurs at the diagonal of the site so it was thus decided to access the Institute on that axis.

As a general scheme, a solution with a hand of “fingers”, was chosen – by creating open patios that enable the buildings to receive the eastern, north and western sun. The “fingers” converge at an ample and varied central hall of 4 levels, surrounded and crossed by ramps and sitting areas. Here is the center of students´ and teachers´ activities, especially during winter – and by the use natural sources for lighting.

2. Exterior_Photo Nicolas Saieh1200

7-Ramps_Photo Nicolas Saieh1200


Browne & Swett Arquitectos


Architects: Enrique Browne and Tomás Swett

Collaborating Architects: Felipe Combeau, Tadea de Ipiña, Olimpia Lira, Cristóbal Teixido, Gonzalo De la Parra, Josefina del Río, Carolina Rocco.

Client: Centro de Formación Técnica Santo Tomás

Location: Avenida Vicuña Mackenna 4835, San Joaquín, Santiago

Building Company: EBCO

Structural Engineers: R.G. Ingenieros Asociados LTDA  Jorge Gonzalez y Juan Espinosa

Technical Inspection: IBLOCK, Willy Herrera

Acoustics: Delta Acústica

Illumination Project: Paulina Sir 1st Stage/ Alejandra Ramos 2nd Stage

Site Surface: 9861,5 m²

Built Surface: 

First Stage:  8106,8 m²

Second Stage: 10288,3 m2

Total: 18395,14 m2


1st Stage:  2010 – 2013

2nd Stage:  2013 – 2014

 Photographers: Nicolás Saieh and Enrique Browne