This work focuses its reflection on the spatial and formal relationship between the conditions of extreme aridity of the Atacama Desert and the expression of an appropriate architecture where the contemporary notions of desert landscape and sustainable architecture intersect. The conditions of the desert environment are presented and differentiated between the different ecological levels that, by altitude, distinguish and determinate the architectural response. The notion of the desert landscape linked with the occupation of the Andean cultures is mentioned, contrasting this analysis but not under the traditional concepts that understand the desert landscape as an inhospitable landscape or a place that is not favorable for living beings. On the contrary, we propose to understand the desert as an ecologically fragile landscape of high scenic value, in which a desert culture has been developed, in the archaeological field, in the agriculture of the oases, and a great productive activity of the sustainable mining industry. Finally, the environmental invariants that are considered at the architectural design level are established as attributes or environmental properties integrated in an ecological framework allowing us to distinguish how these significant entities in a certain context organize in an unprecedented way how to inhabit the desert.
Part of the book: Landscape Architecture