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Easter Island Airport

Part 1 Project 2008
Victor Manuel Cordoba Montoya
Benjamin Alberto Campos CataláN
Sebastian Laclabere
University of Chile Santiago Chile
The project is an airport in Easter Island, the most isolated place in the world, this is one of Chile’s overseas territories, but has a completely different and unique culture and that’s what we tried to bring into the airport, a new way of approaching this kind of program, based on a cultural appropriation of the space by the users.
Easter Island is a very unique place, with a culture full of rituals, signs and with a very close relation between its people and the landscape.
Due to the special characteristics of this place, we couldn’t approach the project from the classic airport point of view; airports tend to be generic spaces, with very little cultural identity and usually hold very little significance, as its use it’s primarily for transitions from one place to another, however our approach makes the cultural heritage of the island, its territory, weather and landscape the most important part of the project, the heart and soul of the space.
The airport appears as a pure volume that floats over the hills, a simple shape, that doesn’t try to imitate or copy any of the formal references of the island, on the contrary it defines itself as a landmark in the territory, an object that through its simple geometry turns the main focus to the territory.
Even though the volume is pure and simple it’s interior gains a new geometry based on the interaction between the project and the territory, generating a series of inner yards, slatted shutters, and skylights of natural light, allowing the light, rain water and vegetation to come in, bringing a new complexity to the spatial experience for the user.
The project is completely developed in wood, with a structural roof set made of sawn wood beams lightly floating over the pillars system, exploring the expression and structural possibilities of the material.
Finally the prime objective of the airport is to be a container of all the manifestations of the island, from the cultural behaviors and characteristics of its people and culture, to the unique territory that forms the island.

Victor Manuel Cordoba Montoya
Benjamin Alberto Campos CataláN
Sebastian Laclabere


The Project consists of an academic exercise that at the same time allows them to participate in a national architect students contest sponsored by wood entrepreneurs.
The project was the construction of an airport for Eastern Island, cultural heritage of the Humanity, located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. This project aims to incorporate functionality to a luxurious cultural legacy and symbolism of the island whose unique monumental legacy, Moais and Ceremonial Spaces, are part of the landscape.
This insular town has a lonely and mysterious inheritance. The requested task was to cover not only the arrivals and departures but also the cultural background of the island.
The landscape, surrounded by the ocean and marked by the prints of an extinguished civilization, reveals and expresses its volcanic origin.
The students´ proposal is simple and accurate. It consists of a simple semi-transparent volume, placed as a ceremonial platform integrated to the landscape without intending to produce a forced integration to the surrounding space.
The Project is developed in the proposed space gathering the life and cultural concepts of the island avoiding, the usage of evidential formal references.
It answers to the essence of the request; more than an infrastructural work, it is the meeting and gathering point of a lonely town and its millennial culture and the world.
The building is just one space that through the delicate incorporation of inner yards, slatted shutters, and skylights of natural light, defines the functional areas and symbols, harboring the programs of an airport and the manifestations of representation and culture.
The conditioning material of the contest was wood. It skillfully appears as exploring all its structural and expressive possibilities.
Pillars and arcs are the structural elements that have a light and a slender expression, along with a semi-transparent closure of slatted shutters that propose a flat area giving a ceremonial and symbolic atmosphere that harbor the characteristic functionality of the airport.

Tutor(s)

2008
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