Durante el seminario internacional «Which future for vernacular architecture & earthen architecture?» realizado en Porto (Portugal) los día 15 y 16 de junio 2023, Patricia Marchante presentó la ponencia «Vernacular knowledge of Chilean traditional earthen coatings«.

La contribución presentada en conjunto con Amanda Rivera, presenta la perspectiva de los conocimientos tradicionales que son plasmados en las construcciones, y particularmente en la cultura de los revestimientos de tierra de Chile.

Abstract: Despite the permanence of ancestral earthen construction techniques, with the introduction of industrial materials and the gradual disappearance of vernacular knowledge, their conservation has been put at risk. Although traditional coating systems have an important role in the conservation of earthen heritage, they are often replaced with modern ones, regardless of their compatibility and impact on traditional and earthen structures.  In the case of Chile in South America, along its large territory, there are still innumerable examples of earthen heritage structures with their traditional coatings, but the most common and current interventions no longer use earth as coating or constructing material.

The vernacular knowledge of this coating culture has gradually disappeared along with the introduction of industrialized, thus not local materials, which implied new concepts and forms of application techniques. This process led to a loss of know-how  of the traditional coatings that used to cover, protect and respect earthen vernacular structures. This tradition  arrives in our days, not in the form of oral or written tradition, but in the material form of built heritage. The study of this built heritage is today almost the only possibility to reconstruct this lost cognition .

This contribution aims to show the present state of coating interventions on traditional earthen traditional buildings and the process of revealing vernacular knowledge of the Chilean coating system.