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Teatro Educativo de las Artes

Nicolas Norero, Leonardo Quinteros, Tomas Villalon Architects

Panguipulli, Los Rios, Chile

October 2022


Nicolas Norero (Architect), Tomas Villalon (Architect)


Carmen Valdes (Architect), Makarena Ceballos (Architect), Sebastian Valois (Architect), Cristian Espinoza (Architect)


Advancement Corporation, friends of Panguipulli


Pablo Casals


The project is a body that is compressed to define two things:
A light, translucent and permeable envelope; and another body inside that is presented as a hermetic volume that houses the main room.
Between the two, a void that will be indeterminate, which houses a cafeteria, a foyer, but fundamentally the life of the community, the dynamics of children and young people and the corporation's agenda according to each season of the year.
The interior volume houses a room with a capacity for 250 people, designed as a flexible void for teaching and presenting. resolved from the acoustic, thermal, lighting and scenic aspects, it allows music, theater and dance to be presented in various formats.
The back of the stage defines a window to the lake in its entire width, allowing the presentations to establish relationships with the landscape, and in summer, the theater activates its uses from the beach allowing presentations towards the outside.
On the ground, a concrete plinth defines the negotiation with the topography. The piece houses dressing rooms and services, absorbing the unevenness of the site, articulating an edge towards the present wetland, and acting as a solution against rain and the relationship with the water level of the lake.
Constructively, the project is proposed based on glued laminated wood (MLE), a material from the area, designed in a mechanized way. The design is proposed based on standardized parts, as repeated units, which allows details to be simplified, facilitating assembly times with notable savings in both economic and energy investment.


Education in Chile not only faces political difficulties, but hundreds of thousands of children cannot access it due to accessibility problems.
Panguipulli is a small town located in the southern part of Chile, a place populated by lakes, rivers and volcanoes. Hundreds of schools are distributed in small towns, where the population is mainly literate.
A few years ago, the idea arose of positioning an enclave that would allow thousands of children to access music, dance, painting and theater, opening a new space to train and open this knowledge to the community.
This idea is realized through this small theater for 250 people, which more than that is a large room to educate and promote culture in children, young people and families who today do not have access to this type of training.
Today there are more than 40 schools that participate in this work. 30 rural, 10 from nearby communities, helping more than 8,000 children throughout the region.
The place, a site located on the edge of the lake, establishes a new waterfront, which must establish a relationship with the beach, the lake and the city. The project, the result of a public competition, is positioned as a compact body, generating the smallest number of blind walls on its edges. The compression allows the site's trees to remain providing shade and height, generating a tree-lined plaza towards the city, and an open beach towards the lake.


The arts theater is more like a large classroom than a theater, an open and community building that allows training and promoting the development of education in territories as complex as the southern part of Chile.
Today, the community has developed more than 250 events, placing more than 8,000 artists on stage, 30% of them being students from nearby towns, and 20% being students from rural areas.
The artists and presentations are instances of community encounter, where families come to encounter culture, bringing this training to thousands of people.
On the other hand, the building coexists harmoniously with the present wetland, the edge of the lake, and the existing trees. All these environmental units today form a single landscape.
At an urban level, the theater defines a body whose height dialogues with the trees, establishing a new relationship with a nascent waterfront. The beach, the trees, the theater and a border route define this relationship that the city did not possess. Today this nascent system builds the fragile and beautiful face of the city of Panguipulli towards the lake.
From a sustainable point of view, the strategy of one box within another allows the thermal and climatic aspects to be protected very efficiently.
The outer skin protects the elements from the elements, such as rain, dust and noise, protecting an intermediate interior where the levels of transparency and opacity are calibrated for passive energy efficiency. The interior of the room receives specific support only when necessary.

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