area 109 | art and architecture

architect: Coz-Polidura-Volante Arquitectos

location: Antofagasta, Chile

year: 2009

The Atacama Desert museum is located at the foot of the Huanchaca Ruins, South of Antofagasta in North Chile. Inside the museum there are 5 rooms to house the permanent collection, 2 dedicated to the geological eras of the Atacama desert, 2 to the extraction industry and to the first inhabitants of the area, and finally one dedicated to the universe, donated by the observatory of Southern Europe. The North access houses a large hall, which leads to the Huanchaca room, a space dedicated to temporary exhibitions that generates a special rapport with the ruins, thanks to a wide fracture allowing glimpses of them from inside the museum. Three patios contribute to climatically controlling the museum: the North-South one allows the public to relate to the institute’s conservation work; through sliding glass walls, the second patio permits enlarging and connecting the auditorium hall, which can accommodate about one hundred people, with the cafeteria and washrooms. This operation converts these elements of the museum into intermediate spaces, which transform the rigorous structure into spacious, airy areas.

Ramón Coz Rosenfeld is professor at the Universidad Mayor Santiago de Chile and he is partner of Coz-Polidura-Volante arquitectos. Iñaki Volante Negueruela is director of the Escuela de Arquitectura de la Universidad Mayor en Santiago de Chile and at the moment he is partner of Oficina REI arquitectos and of Coz-Polidura-Volante arquitectos. Eugenia Soto Cellino in 1999 is partner of Oficina REI arquitectos and architect of Coz-Polidura-Volante arquitectos office. She has been professor of a workshop in project design at the Universidad Central, UDP y Mayor de Chile. Marco Polidura Álvarez has been professor in different universities and actually he is partner of Coz-Polidura-Volante arquitectos office. His work has been published in various magazines in Chile as well as in foreign countries.