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We have been asked for a Cultural Center on the edge of the sea, in a flat landscape in Cobquecura, Chile.  The landscape has the beauty of desolation, of the desert and the infinite. We have been asked to make a Cultural Center that is sober and stable, its materials strong and lasting and easy to maintain: concrete, glass and wood.

When Pedro de Valdivia founded Santiago de Chile, he established a geometric strategy for the creation of new cities, the universal Roman plan.

We propose a simple plan measuring 4 by 4 meters: a platform of 24 by 24 meters with a 4 by 4 frame raised over the sand. A principle piece, the multifunctional space that is no more than a 12 by 12 meter structure that we simply glass in. A piece for services, offices, restrooms and storage that is no more than a 4 by 12 meter structure that we close for these uses, leaving the structure visible. An emerging piece, a tower or lighthouse that is no more than a 4 by 4 meter empty structure and various heights. Like an empty skeleton that we will later colonize. Its primary function is to serve as a reference from a distance. As if it were a lighthouse. Its other function is to see the ocean from on high, as the birds see it.
Between the highway and our platform, there is a 12 by 12 meter square with a 4 by 4 frame, with local trees planted to provide shade. Between our platform and the sea, there’s another empty platform on which to view the open sky.

Our intention is to make a simple and lovely compound with the greatest economy of means. An architecture without time, or rather one where time is suspended.

Technical data

Architect: Alberto Campo Baeza in collaboration with Miguel Ciria Hernández. Location: Cobquecura, Chile. Client: Cobquecura City Council. Project: 2012. Area: 576sqm.