An Interpretation Centre For The Atacama Desert

Designed as a research building for public use, Emilio Marín and Juan Carlos López’s Center of Interpretation of the Desert is located in Chile’s Atacama Desert.

In 2013, the C.I.D. project was established to provide a base for investigations into the contemporary relationship between architecture and the landscape. Situated between San Pedro de Atacama and Ayquina, in a region recognised as the world’s driest desert, the building was created to explore the nature and culture of the environment. A clustered configuration of six volumes are covered with a corten steel exterior, which over the years will weather to an appearance of rust. Each division presents a different view of the surrounding landscape, including the distant Andes volcanoes. The site includes an observatory, research labs and a central patio area that is shielded from the wind in order to be used as a small oasis, with its own ecosystem and vegetation.

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All images © Pablo Casals Aguirre and Felipe Fontecilla

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