In 2013, brilliant architectural minds Emilio Marín and Juan Carlos López were commissioned to design a building for public use, stationed in the middle of the driest desert in the world, The Atacama Desert.
Our presented project, titled C.I.D., in other name Center of Interpretation of the Desert is the impeccable result of an exquisitely interpreted project, an interplay between landscape and architecture. The building is located between San Pedro de Atacama and Ayquina, close to the first wind farm in northern Chile. “The task was to propose a program as well as a design for a building able to expose different layers of the meaning of the desert: natural, cultural and energetic,” the architects explained. An essential part of the project was to fuse and eventually realize their visions both conceptually and physically.
“The main strategy of the project is to integrate three dimensions of natural origin: geography, landscape and ecology through three layers of architecture: form, material and space,” the duo added.
The visualization of the three fundamental principles comes out in different aspects of the construction. The unique contrasting volumes are dedicated to the surrounding landscape, celebrating the distant volcanoes in the Andes, while to ensure the assimilation of the building into the nature the construction is covered in weathering steel, also called corten steel, which eliminates the need for painting and lends the building a rustic appearance overtime, if exposed to the weather for several years. The shape of the volumes lead the eye to discover a hidden oasis in the middle of the construction, guarded by the walls of the Center. Its roof is opened up to the sky, giving the possibility to experience an unexampled connection with man made objects and nature.