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Eliza CULEA , Santiago de Chile

Santiago de Chile

Autumn 2010
San Cerro Cristobal Wine Museum, Santiago de Chile
Arquitectum Open Competition
in collaboration with Meram Irina Pienaru(GER)

This project, commissioned by the Arquitectum competition website for a new wine museum in Santiago de Chile, posed several challenges. The back bone of these open competition aim at creating city icons, while suggesting peculiar locations for the new skyscrapers. In this case, the hillside of Santiago is a protected and much cherished natural reservation. The ‘client’, the new wine museum, was intended to become the new emblem of the city. It was thus a display board of the wine making skills of Chile. Just that wine isn’t made in glass boxes, but in the cool caves that protect the qualities of the sensitive alcohol. As such, the response for this tower tried to answer several site and program conditions. First, a minimal footprint of the tower so not to disturb the local environment,  the creation of an urban scale ‘advertisment’ translated quite literally from program to shape and the proper positioning of the museum in sync with its storage and display necessities of the wine.

At the city scale, the new San Cerro Cristobal Wine museum is a gigantic 2D projecting screen, at night displaying a continuous set of attractive imaging of the universe of wine, while during daytime through its transparency it reveals the vertical park which gradually grows on its structure. Here, the concepts of natural and artificial are closely intertwined, as a man made landmark becomes the backbone of an elevated natural ecosystem. At close range, however, the landmark betrays its deceitfulness and it becomes clear it is not a mere surface, simply displaying or filtering images towards the city, but a distorted 3D space housing an elaborate entertainment package of experiences. The program is therefore split in two parts: the exhibition areas and all their administrative needs and the entertainment heart.

As it emerges abruptly from the hill, it draws its origins for the underground museum of wine in charge with displaying safely away from sunlight or heat, decades of the best vineyard productions. The new insertion in this natural environment wishes to respond simultaneously to the global, city scale needs and the local context. It plays upon the notion of the image as a signal or a sign, and that of architectural sequences, in a build up trajectory from a buried free plan museum to a high-rise view on Santiago de Chile. Its insertion also intends to aggregate a circuit between the main attractions of the park, like the pathway starting at the Sanctuary of the Immaculate Conception and leading directly to the new wine complex, or the museum entrance which is similarly connected with the local funicular.

(click to enlarge)

ContextBirds eye view of towerFront and side views of project

Interior view of museum and tower transition

Competition submission