The José Francisco Vergara building was born as an eleven-story tower destined for offices, housing units and a plate to be used commercially. This characteristic, so typical of Viña del Mar in the 1950s, sought to make the city’s economic boom coexist with the progressive increase in population. Located in the heart of Viña del Mar, it is placed on Eduardo Grove Street, right next to the Parroquia Square area. Its tower is a distinctive spot that marks the urban growth of the city towards the north; it also points to the old railway line’s limit, which connects the port city with the inner parts of the region. Its location is currently an essential part of the historic center of the city, which makes it a representative building of Viña del Mar’s urban growth as well as a point of reference in the region.
Residential | Commercial | Offices | Hotel
Moisés Díaz Neira
The José Francisco Vergara building has a strong link with its surroundings. The commercial use of its ground floor located vertically allows it to adapt to a central point in the historic, and today’s commercial, center of the city. Its longitudinal direction allows it to position itself in favor of the urban growth experienced by the garden city. Throughout its history it has had various purposes, which from the beginning were part of this building, such as commercial premises. Originally and until 1966 it housed a hotel, between the third and sixth floors, and Turkish baths plus a movie theater in the basement.
Its first double-height floor and transparent facade reveal the elliptical pillars in the building’s reception, reflecting relevance as an urban structure in the sector. Its central location and the fact that it is located in front of the Viña del Mar subway station, makes it a building exposed to the city and an essential part of the architectural heritage.
A special feature of the José Francisco Vergara building is that it has a large entrance hall, a legacy of its hotel days (1962-1966). The hall and the access foyer get the light from the west through a facade that covers its double height through a large window. Each floor has its own particularities. The building has three elevators, this is an important benefit to its residents and generates points of articulation on different floors. However, the building’s most remarkable feature is the lighting it receives thanks to the configuration of the stair steps. The exterior finishing touches and cladding of this building stand out for a mosaic of different shades of blue and white.
Inside, the brown color trend coexists with the use of imperial ivory. The hydraulic tiles for the pavement together with a washed stone fulget generate an atmosphere of contrasts that is manifested by the entrance of natural light and the qualities of the materials. In addition to the above, there are various details in wood, bronze and even painted steel in handles, railings and supports. On the upper floors, a more austere ornamentation stands out. Finally it is possible to appreciate some bronze figures with naval motifs.