Video: Residencia / Tramnesia

Provided by the creative minds of Tramnesia, this short film takes us inside a remote hotel in Northern known as the Residencia. Located in a desolate area of the Atacama desert, this subterranean building is straight out of a James Bond movie, literally. You may recognized it as the bad guy lair in Quantum of Solace.

Designed by the German architects of Auer + Weber, this hotel serves as a sanctuary for the astronomers and visitors of the European Southern Observatory’s Paranal Observatory. Hardly visible from the entrance road, the submerged the L-shaped structure is marked by a long brick entrance and skylight dome. Once inside, “cavernous public spaces echo the openness of the desert” and are “enclosed by dark earth tones that produce a cozy and secure effect.”

Screen Shot
Cite: Rosenfield, Karissa. "Video: Residencia / Tramnesia" 13 Jul 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 24 May 2015. <>
  • Marty Needham

    You guys need to get your facts straight.
    The Residencia was designed by Architect Hernan Marchant, Now a professor at NC State University.
    He entered a design competition and during the process his design was stolen and manipulated.
    Any doubters just call NCSU and set up a meeting with him ………he can produce and show you his original design documents.
    It would be nice ti see him get the credit he deserves.

  • Brandon

    I think you guys should research a man named Hernan Marchant. He is the actual designer of the Residencia.
    He is originally from Chile and entered a competition and was only made aware of his design being the winning design by a former student who informed him of such.
    He is now a professor at NC State University, I’m sure it would be relatively easy to contact him and discover that he is the “true” architect of the Residencia.

  • Marty

    I left a comment earlier but it is not posted so I am leaving a similar comment.

    I too, like Brandon , know that Hernan Marchant is the true designer of the Residencia.
    I wish someone would interview Mr. Marchant and prove to the architectural community and the world that his design was stolen and give him the recognition that he deserves.

  • Kyle Semon

    Sadly, credit for the Residencia has been given to the wrong individuals. Auer + Weber did NOT, in fact, design this hotel. The architect who designed this hotel is Hernán Marchant, a current Professor and Associate Dean at North Carolina State University.

    As mentioned previously, after entering his design (along with eight other select architects from around the world) to a competition and never hearing from the hosts of the competition, he had assumed that he had lost. Some time later, one of his former students (who worked for a firm in NY who was assisting in the Residencia project) congratulated him on his “accomplishment” of winning the competition. It was then that Mr. Marchant realized that something had happened.

    The former student then showed the drawings for the project to Mr. Marchant, so he would believe that it was actually his design, and his fears were confirmed; Hernán Marchant’s design had been stolen and was being constructed by a German architecture firm.

    To this day, Hernán still has the original drawings from the competition on file. And yet, he has never sought revenge. This is not the way Mr. Marchant is. However, his students and people at the University are disgusted with what has happened. What kind of world do we have to look forward to working in if people steal other hardworking individual’s designs and use them to gain wrongful credit and fame? If we don’t stand against it, who will?

    Credit for the Residencia needs to be given to it’s actual creator, Chilean-born architect, Hernán Marchant.

    I strongly urge you to look into this matter and discover the truth for yourself.

  • Thiefsie Taffer

    Perhaps the clause of the competition handed over ownership of the entries to the organisation and thus they solicited another architect to use the drawings to complete the job. That would entail that technically the job was done by the German firm with a sketch design by Merchant??

    Perhaps a joint credit is more appropriate but if Merchant only did the sketch design phase it would be remiss to assume that Auer & Weber were not the ‘more true’ architects of the job.

    Merchant obviously should have received the competition prize as per any terms and conditions (including credit) but we are not privy to the fine print on that competition.

    Practises like this which I would assume are all done legally are why architects should be very wary of entering competitions…