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Saltpetre Historical Museum

Part 2 Project 2005
Ximena Ahumada
University of La Serena La Serena Chile
Located in the Pampa del Tamarugal, Chile, the Project´s architectonical proposal “ E x h i b i t i o n F u r r o w ” arises from the loss of importance in the significance of Salpetre as time runs.
The Project collects the perceptual image of the desert and appears crossing and incrusting itself in the saltpetre pile in order to respond with a bioclimatic architecture to the desert´s dryness and to the horizontality highlighting the verticallity of the Santa Laura machinery as a visual inheritance worthy to “ conserve and emphasize” , building the light as a support of the exhibition and the shade as a support of the permanence in the desert. The site of the building proposes to build the reflection in the pampa as a regional intercultural meeting point.

Ximena Ahumada

Her designed project try to find an answer to an unconcluded search: “The scale and position of men among this territory that he must live in”.
Her design project deal with men problematic; confronted to Atacama`s Desert (North of Chile) immensity territory, in a new attempt to inhabit its memory, history and landscape.
The architectonic program of Saltpeter (sodium nitrate) Historical Museum is the excuse; saltpeter economical activity gave birth to several towns during beginning of last century in these rough territories from which there is only ruins and traces.
The challenge here was to propose an intervention that letting the temporary use of it, would not impact either the magnificence or the purity of existent landscape, including heritage traces.

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