The aim of the competition was the design of an International Museum of Astronomy (IMOA) in the desert of Atacama, Chile. The goal of our composition was to guide the visitor through time and space by provoking all his senses while preserving the contact with earth in every step.
A semantic connection between the endless, rough desert landscape and the sky is attempted. The ground “cracks and inclines” to host the building in its body. The observatory, a “window” to space, in the form of a metallic tower grows from the “earth’s heart” towards the sky.The building is partly underground, natural ventilated in the idea of passive bioclimatic design while a photovoltaic system is installed for ancillary purpose. Local materials, soil and concrete, are used due to their big thermal mass. The counterpoint use of the materials also symbolize the passage from earth to outer space, from primitive (soil) to high-tech (steel).