Ruka Llallin Domuche

Related program: Enel Cuore Community Empowerment

The construction of the Ruka Llallin Domuche (House of the women who weave like spiders) weaving artisans center is part of the Enel Community Empowerment Program. The project is currently developed in Chile by Architecture for Humanity with the local support of Endesa Chile and also the Pehuen Foundation.

STATUS: Tender
NEXT MILESTONE: Assess tender bids and select contractor.

The project aims to empower indigenous Pehuenche communities in areas affected by the construction of the Pangue and Ralco hydroelectric plants in Alto Biobio, Chile. The “Ruka Llallin Domuche” (the house of women who leave like spiders) project focuses on strengthening the rich traditions of textile weaving amongst Pehuenche women by constructing multipurpose weaving centers in two communities. These centers will house the existing local women’s weaving cooperative and allow it to grow from 30 to 70 women.

The buildings will provide the first communal space for women to gather to produce textiles together, and to train future generations of weavers. The structures are designed to celebrate traditional Pehuenche identity and allow the display textiles for tourism and sale to both local and international markets. The awareness and income generated from the project will ensure that a traditional part of Pehuenche identity and livelihood is sustainable for future generations.


The project aims to build two multi-purpose community centers that allow the production, training, marketing, and exhibition of the Pehuenche textiles to the local communities and beyond. Today the program has 30 women but will grow to 70 women in the future.

The design of the structures celebrates the craft of weaving and traditional construction. The structures are designed with respect for the environmental conditions, including a unique system to naturally heat the building from a central hearth, creating space that is inviting space even during the snowfall of winter. The designs are conceived to be easily adapted to other sites, to allow for future replication by weaving groups in neighboring communities.

The new project includes:

  • Meeting space for training and workshop.
  • Space for weaving.
  • Sales area and exhibit.
  • Kitchen (the most important space within the Pehuenche culture)
  • Restrooms, water facilities and electricity, telephone, internet, septic
  • Perimeter fence and furniture with cultural significance


Sponsoring partner Project Management Local Partners

The role of Architecture for Humanity is essential throughout all the project development stages. The first step is to analyze the feasibility of the project in order to design an appropriate building that relates to the existing context and the community can take full ownership of the project. Architecture for Humanity is managing the design, construction and construction administration of the school, making sure that the project represents the community’s objectives and the project is developed within schedule and budget. The role of Architecture for Humanity also consists in post-occupancy services in order to build a quality infrastructure that will be sustainable and used by the Pehuenche communities for many years to come.

Workshops engaging the community
Report describing the most important activities involving the community during the design stage.
Architectural project description
Report describing the objectives during the design stage.
Schematic Design
Description and visualization of the project.

View this project on the Open Architecture Network

Related Program