Glaciers are a powerful combination of natural elements and weather phenomena. Ice, stone, water, air, fight their battles before our very eyes.
The visual richness of these unique places comes out of the violent yet slow clash of the elements, inexorably dragged down by gravity forces.
The Museum Project was based on this combination of basic forces and primeval elements which move slowly and majestically, with ourselves as minuscule witnesses.
The shapes that we chose are simple: horizontal bars with a single sloped roof for the warehouses, vertical prisms for the towers. The appearance of motion comes out of their adaptation to the site. Collisions and overlapping of shapes are a byproduct of the placement of functions where they belong. The whole project is the result of this game combinatory.
Layout The big hall is the most important element of the ensemble, receiving visitors and guiding them towards the pavilions where the actual museum contents are located. It’s a long horizontal bar-shaped volume with slanted side elevations, built of corrugated steel, with big glazed openings.
Right in front of this main building we see three vertical towers with slanted walls, giving dynamism to the total composition by their geometry.
Real blocks obtained from the glaciers are going to be employed in its construction. Ice is going to be the only material of the interior, including seats, the bar, furniture and shelves.
Thematic exhibitions such as models, interactive videos, infographies and dioramas will make the glaciers, their geography, their history and the scientific research, understandable to a greater audience.
Sustainability measures During design process the team decided to minimize the impact of the building on the site. Each pavilion was graded at the natural level, thus minimizing the need for excavation or fill.
The soil surrounding the building was left untouched. No landscaping was designed except for dirt roads approaching the building from the highway. The radial arrangement of volumes helps mitigate the impact of the heavy patagonic winds on the structure.