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2016 MCHAP

Orellana’s Cultural Center and Archaeological Museum (MACCO)

Pablo Antonio Moreira Viteri

Francisco de Orellana, Ecuador

May 2015


Pablo Antonio Moreira Viteri Rubén Moreira Velásquez María Natalia Corral Fierro Yadhira Susana Álvarez Castellanos Milton Vladimir Chávez Aguirre



Municipio del Gobierno Autónomo Descentralizado de Orellana


Sebastian Crespo


MACCO is conceived as an urban landmark for the city, connecting the city´s activities and giving a wide range of cultural expressionism. From this concept the project aims to generate integration between the citizens and the building, through a sequence of open and semi-open spaces, articulated between each other by a concentrical circulation, this is shown as a free plan that links to a pedestrian ramp, which directs the visitor to the exhibition halls, library and cafeteria. This circulation experience provides a visual connection with the Napo River, the main actor of the city and its surroundings. On the ground floor, the jungle theme is the main topic, it is shown through a combination of water and vegetation, elements that surround the central meeting space: a glass box, shaped like an organic cell. The public and cultural spaces, created around the central volume, are the city´s welcoming hall. In the center of the architectural composition, is located the museum, a prismatic volume that contains all the archaeological pieces. Based on a spatial tension concept this main volume is surrounded by three different blocks, with its own complementary functions and lower height, highlighting the museum. The climate condition was a permanent concern of the design, the building becomes a breeze generator that meanders through the volumes, mitigating the intense tropical heat and refreshing the open circulation spaces. The whole building maintains an ongoing dialog with its immediate surroundings, consisting of the river boardwalk, the city, and Napo River.


Orellana`s Cultural Center and Archaeological Museum, MACCO, is sited in the city of Orellana, also known as Coca, which is surrounded by three main rivers: Coca, Payamino, and Napo, whose channel flows into the Amazon River. It has a torrid and tropical climate, with an average temperature of 30°C and humidity up to 93%. The city was created in the 1950`s, it has been mainly engaged in the oil production activities. Therefore, Orellana has had a disorganized development without cultural services, forgetting the quality of public and social space. In the last decade, the local government recognized these shortcomings, valuing the potential of the megadiverse natural environments. Based on this, the government decided to intervene in public space, providing it with parks, river boardwalks and new equipment buildings such as MACCO. As a result, the city has become meaningful for the people, transforming it into a place of social and cultural exchange. On the other hand, the Capuchin community had an important will to create a center that exhibits their archeological collection. Therefore, it promotes the Amazonian history and cultural research The project is located in the southern part of town, which it has a balance and respectful dialogue with its context. It is closely linked to the city center as a complement to the Napo River’s boardwalk, the city’s meeting place.


MACCO is the exhibition space for a collection of archeological pieces from the Napo Culture, in particular, the Omaguas. Has an additional space to the main exhibition, as a library, temporary exhibition hall, auditorium, pottery workshop, Cafeteria and administrative offices. Since its opening in 2015, it has become a catalyst for cultural and social dynamics. It is the only active cultural center of the city, covering a collective need, serving a population of 72,795 inhabitants. Highlighting its connection to educational institutions and forming programs for culture identity and genre. It has received over 14500 visits in its first months since opening and develops a range of activities that addresses the theater, cinema, dance, permanent and temporary exhibitions, and diverse type of workshops. The project finds itself being managed by the local municipality and the Labaka foundation, which ceded its collection on a loan, developing a program focused on spreading the history and worldview of the Amazonian cultures. The design of the building has fulfilled its intended objectives, being an extension of the public space by proposing transparent and fluid spaces allowing free mobility throughout the building. The Project is the tangible result of a planning approach in which the site and its natural conditions are the foundations of the design, contributing to the built urban environment, giving it an structuring role in the treatment of public space.

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