Oficina Bravo
Beyond borders

Oficina Bravo is an architecture practice located in Santiago de Chile, founded by the Chilean architect Sebastián Bravo and which currently has a team of 8 architects who develop intervention projects for buildings with heritage value, commercial and gastronomic spaces, housing and public facilities.

Giving time
I founded the studio in 2013 after already having worked in some architecture studios, first in Buenos Aires and then in Santiago. Since I finished at the architecture school, I had been developing little projects independently parallel to my studies. I wanted to dedicate more time to my projects so I decided to found my own architectural practice.

Affection as part of the practice
In Chile there are currently 30 architecture schools, and it is a small country of 19 million inhabitants. There is a lot of competition but also a lot of opportunities. In the few years that we have been an architecture studio, we have been able to realise that in addition to doing a job well, it is important to be empathetic with the client and make sure that your client understands and values what you are giving them. That assures you that a client will recommend you or call you again. For that you need time, affection and a lot of work.

Building a community
Until now, the search for new clients and projects has been through different means like private and public tenders, trying to build long-term relationships with private companies, through our website and social networks and accepting many projects from friends who don't have very high budgets but who want to do good architecture. This is how we have ended up doing the projects that interest us and like us the most.

Indeed, there is a barrier to being able to carry out larger-scale commissions. In that sense, competitions have been a path, but also the insistence on projects with certain specificities that allow learning and then aspiring to larger-scale projects. That has happened to us with the projects of gastronomic spaces and heritage intervention. As they are fields with certain specific complexities, learning allows you to specialise and then access larger projects that require this experience.

An ordinary routine
Fortunately my routine is nothing heroic! I work in the studio almost every day and I take classes at the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Chile, which is close to where the office is. I also live relatively close to the studio, so I can get around by bicycle or public transport. In the studio we are quite organised with the schedules, so that we can all have a social life after work, play sports and try to be happy.

Workspaces and terraces
We work in a space designed by our studio, a coworking project in an old mechanical workshop. The coworking has a rooftop terrace and several common spaces that make it very pleasant. With the team, we work in the same space, at large tables and with access to our books and a library of materials. Generally we all know what the other is working on and it is normal to get together in front of a computer to discuss a proposal or a particular detail.
During the pandemic we have become accustomed to remote working and we have generated the technological conditions to do so, but we still prefer to meet in the studio.

Photography Portrait (Mariana González), Studio (Felipe Fontecilla), courtesy of Oficina Bravo
Oficina Bravo's profile is part of New Generations' section 'Beyond Europe'

LANZA Atelier Davidson Rafailidis Architecture BRIO Studio GROSS sauermartins Emerging European Practices (2022) Architecture for London AFAB

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