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2016 MCHAP.emerge


Emilio Marín & Juan Carlos López Architects

Road to Ayquina, Chile

May 2015


Emilio Marin & Juan Carlos Lopez


Alessandra dal Mos (Architect) Thomas batzenschlager (architect)


Enel Green Power


Felipe Fontecilla


It is evident that the most interesting Chilean architecture of the past 20 years built its speech from a dialectical relationship with the landscape, always from autonomy. However, although part of this generation, we look to take another step. The project aims to extend some boundaries, expand modern vision of relationship between architecture and landscape, where main characters are just two objects that work in a relationship of opposites. We raised the possibility of articulate other dimensions of territory with architecture, to break that dichotomy and integrate the proposal as a new landscape in the desert, a device that activates other interpretations, an observatory where visitors take part and modifies their understanding of natural environment.


On 2013 we where in charged to design a building for public use in the driest desert in the world: The Atacama Desert. The specific place, the first wind farm in northern Chile, located on the way to San Pedro de Atacama and Ayquina. We where asked to make a proposal of program and design for a building able to expose the layers containing the desert: natural, cultural and energetic. The un definition of the task allowed us to approach the project as an investigation into the contemporary relationship between architecture and landscape.


The main strategy of the project is to integrate to the project three dimensions of natural origin; Geographical, landscape and ecological dimension, through three project operations, nested in: organization, material and space. First, the geographical dimension of the desert gives an order to volumes intended for exhibition; these are positioned as opposed to the distant volcanoes of the Andes. Then, in the same way that the large and disproportionate monochrome landscapes of the Atacama Desert, the building wears a mantle of a single material. Corten Steel completely envelops the architectural shape, causing it to be transformed into a steel melt rock lost in the vastness of the desert. Finally the space, which assumes the ecological dimension of the project. It creates the conditions for an integrated experience among vegetation and visitors, a central vacuum that protects from wind allowing the existence of a small oasis surrounded by an open corridor, which also is a viewpoint to the sky.

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