Lessons of Incremental Housing Two Chilean Case Studies: Elemental Lo Espejo and Las Higuera

  • Marinovic, Goran Ivo (Department of Architecture, Keimyung University) ;
  • Baek, Jin (Department of Architecture and Architectural Engineering, Seoul National University)
  • Received : 2016.07.22
  • Accepted : 2016.10.21
  • Published : 2016.12.30


Low-income housing policies in South Korea have been pursued mostly by providing public rental housing for less privileged social groups. In contrast to this notion of housing, this article argues for housing ownership by low-income families. Two examples of this ownership policy are found in Chile. Incremental housing involves an open-ended housing platform, which requires home-dwellers to complete the construction process themselves. This article aims to examine structural, spatial and formal characteristics of the incremental housing projects. Taking the perspective of the home-dweller during the incremental construction process, we evaluate the houses before and after customization. Thus, we use data from field-work conducted for seven months in the Santiago Metropolitan Area of Chile. Using qualitative methods such as observation, semi-structured interviews, and surveys we focus on the Elemental Lo Espejo incremental housing project and then compare it with the Las Higuera housing project. The latter is representative of the incremental houses delivered by the Chilean government. In comparing these two projects, we aim to articulate the lessons of incremental housing with the intention of suggesting possible future developments for a wider-reaching incremental housing program.


Incremental Housing;Housing Ownership;Elemental Lo Espejo;Las Higuera


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