Punta Arenas International Antarctic Center Winners Announced

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A team led by architects Alberto Moletto, Cristobal Tirado, Sebastian Hernandez, and Danilo Lagos has been selected to spearhead the design of the Punta Arenas International Antarctic Center in Chile. The state-owned project aims to establish a distinct infrastructure in order to position Chile as an Antarctic country, with Punta Arenas serving as the main gateway to West Antarctica.

Image courtesy of the design team.

The proposed 204,500-square-foot design depicts a building that will operate as a large transitional space, which will respond to the needs of the landscape. It will be characterized as a hybrid of numerous elements of varying natures joined as a single enclave.

Image courtesy of the design team.

A dark stony base will host elements necessary for the import and export of goods or vehicles. A lighter, translucent volume will be housed within the base, inhabitable for scientists and visitors. The main floor will be elevated three stories above the earth to avoid excavation of the sandy terrain, and organized in a linear fashion that frames expansive views of the Magellan Strait. A public exhibition will be fixed at the heart of the space, where programming will vary in height depending on the volume of air each requires. An auditorium and outdoor, dock-like viewing platform will be outfitted on the main floor as well. Laboratories will be located on the upper part of the building, occupying the majority of the structure.

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