Santiago’s white elephant – a cellphone building

I’ve tried for too long to avoid this topic, so I am just going to face it head on…and talk about this white elephant…well, um…OK, I’ll just come out and say it: Chile has a building that is built to look like a huge cellphone!


If you look closely, you will see the Andes mountains in the background (under the tree). It’s hidden behind the smog!

There, I’ve said it.


The view from Cerro Santa Lucia. The cellphone sticks out high above the other buildings.

The building is called the Telefónica Chile building and it is one of the first world-class skyscrapers to appear in Santiago.  For a while it was also the highest building in Chile, but currently it sits at fifth place with a height of 132m (32 floors).

I found some information about the structure on  From what I understand Seismicae were design consultants for the building.


Most buildings in Santiago has plaques or engravings showing who the building team was.  If you are an architect and you designed a building (good or bad); it will have your name on it for the building’s lifetime.


I was brave enough to enter the cellphone and found a delightful (because it’s free) art gallery with a beautiful installation by the artist ‘Pommer’ exploring the symbolism of the bull (toro).


The cellphone building creates an interesting dilemma for me: I can hardly take a picture in Santiago, and there is the cellphone photo-bombing my photo in the background!


A walkway in Parque Bustamente


A statue in Parque Bustamente


A bridge crossing the Mapoche river


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