Ricardo Serpell

Architect (PUC Chile), 2000

Ph.D. Civil Eng. (PUC Chile), 2014

Scientist, FAR  

Trained as an architect and PhD in civil engineering in Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Ricardo has been alternating between professional practice and academic research, actively carrying knowledge across disciplinary domains in the development of the built environment. His current work at FAR builds upon his research on construction materials’ science and technology and on his extensive professional career as an architect and design consultant, inquiring on the potential of institutional building projects to act as seeds of innovation in the construction sector.

Over the last 20 years, he has worked as a consultant and collaborator to a number of renowned Chilean architects, such as Smiljan Radic, Cecilia Puga and Alejandro Aravena. He brings a highly technical approach to every stage in the project design process, from conceptual drafting to construction detailing, developing and analysing ad-hoc geometric and constructive parametric models as a key means to solve real-life multi-scale design problems. In this capacity he has been part of professional teams awarded first place in numerous architectural contests such as the Civic District building complex of Concepción (2000, with S. Radic and E. Castillo) and most recently the new Antenna Tower of Santiago (2014, with S. Radic and G. Medrano). Similarly, he has been involved in projects encompassing equipment, device and interface design for education, museums and industry, frequently in collaboration with Chilean designer Gonzalo Puga.


His recent scientific work has focused on construction materials’ science and technology, including the design of new material formulations and associated construction systems, making extensive use of a Design of Experiments approach. He has been particularly active in the exploration of alternatives for the recycling of cement paste from concrete wastes, with funds awarded by the Chilean National Commission of Science and Technology (CONICYT). In 2011, he was invited as a visiting scholar to the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to propose and carry out research on recycled concrete for the O’Hare International Airport modernization project. He has directed several University-private sector research partnership contracts aimed at developing material solutions for the construction industry, such as the application of a biotechnological agent as a means to obtain a construction material from tailings from the copper mining industry.


He has been lecturer to university courses for more than ten years in architecture and engineering schools, and prior to his engagement with FAR, he held a full-time position as Assistant Professor at the Engineering School of Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile at Santiago. He has been responsible of courses as diverse as architectural rendering, construction detailing, construction technologies, construction engineering, fundamentals of structural analysis, properties and strength of materials, technology of civil engineering materials and microstructure characterization of materials in addition to his frequent involvement as a lecturer in architecture design studios.


[email protected]

HBL 2 2C (Halle Bleue)
Pass. du Cardinal 13b
CH-1700 Fribourg

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Top image: TOMBESI (2017)