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Ship Construction Museum

Part 2 Project 2015
Emanuel Astete
University of Chile, Chile

Valdivia, city located in the south of Chile where the greatest earthquake in the history of mankind took place in 1960.

It is undeniable the important role that weight plays in Chilean architecture. The project emphasizes this role, manifested in the suspension of the ship´s structure above the surface of the water.

The architectural weight (ship) is suspended in the air by means of a fragile structure, a floating dry dock, which appears as a series of vectors that transmit the gravitational forces to the water (pontoon).


Valdivia is where the majority of Chile’s naval construction takes place. However, an exhibition space where the construction process can be observed by the community is absent.

The museum seeks to recover and put on display “Piloto Pardo”, the first ship to be built in Chile, since it is currently in a state of extreme abandonment.

In order to effectively exhibit the ship and its parts, the design strategy inverts the naval construction process by separating it into blocks, that is, the ship is deconstructed into its original four construction components – prow, hold, berth, engine room.

The evolution of creative processes for floating architecture is materialized through this deconstruction sequence.

Emanuel Astete


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