Autor: Maximiano Atria
The experience of the Society for the Construction of Educational Facilities (SCEE; initials from the Spanish title) is a unique case in Chile of a public agency dedicated to a single task: designing and building the schools of the whole country. It lasted for fifty years, delivering a final product that constitutes the presence of the State throughout Chile to this day, even if its participation in public education has decreased dramatically in recent years. Totaling more than four thousand schools throughout the country, the SCEE’s production shows, from its creation in 1937 to its final closure in 1987, the leading tendencies that oriented the discipline of architecture during its most active and polemic years. From the initial modernity of massive, brick-and-mortar buildings to the prefabricated and modular systems (in wood, steel or prefabricated concrete) of the 1960s and 1970s, the SCEE’s production can be considered to be a showcase of modern heritage. But although most of its schools are still in use, they are subject to modifications and threats from the dynamics of the expansion of contemporary society.