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  1. ArchDaily
  2. News
  3. Winning Projects Reimagine the Tourist Experience of Machu Picchu

Winning Projects Reimagine the Tourist Experience of Machu Picchu

  • 06:00 - 7 March, 2017
  • by
  • Translated by Matthew Valletta
Winning Projects Reimagine the Tourist Experience of Machu Picchu
Winning Projects Reimagine the Tourist Experience of Machu Picchu, Courtesy of VISTA PREVIA & LLONAZAMORA
Courtesy of VISTA PREVIA & LLONAZAMORA

Historical preservation and integration with nature, two crucial themes in the development of the Peruvian structure whose territory is a synthesis of historical landscapes. The winning project of the “Ideas de Arquitectura” contest in Machu Picchu National Archaeological Park (Cusco) not only achieves both themes but also weaves and customizes them. The project mimics the architectural tradition of the place while bringing its own contemporary language. It creates bridges of new relations while respecting the preexisting ones, in continuation with the nature of the place, harmony between nature and history. And of course, it invites visitors to be part of this experience.

Learn more details about this project and its approach to what has been the development of landscape of its masterplan that was made for the Archaeological Park.

Courtesy of VISTA PREVIA & LLONAZAMORA Courtesy of LLONAZAMORA Personal archive Courtesy of LLONAZAMORA Personal archive Courtesy of VISTA PREVIA & LLONAZAMORA + 22

From the architects:

The Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, located in Cusco, is the most iconic site in Peru, one of the wonders of the modern world, as well as a UNESCO world heritage site. It receives 2,500 visitors a day and for that reason, Peru considers it necessary to prioritize its conservation in view of the imminent wear and tear caused by the high number of tourist visits.

With this scenario in mind, in 2014 the Ministry of Culture of Peru (MINCUL) and the Decentralized Department of Cusco (DDC-Cusco) convened the "Architecture Ideas Contest for developments in Machu Picchu National Archaeological Park", resulting in a preliminary design by architect Michelle Llona R. who heads LLONAZAMORA Studio.

Following the pattern set by the competition, in 2016 MINCUL and DDC-Cusco prepared a report, "Strategic New Vision for the Management of Machu Picchu", that addresses the problem and proposes a new model of integrated and sustainable management. 

The new approach seeks to migrate from a touristic experience based only on the physical journey through the Inca citadel to an experience of the interpretation of a major territory, which gives more meaning and links Machu Picchu to its surrounding landscape, an archaeological and cultural system that extends and involves everything in its surroundings.

Courtesy of LLONAZAMORA Personal archive
Courtesy of LLONAZAMORA Personal archive

Within this new management model of Machu Picchu, there are three key architectural pieces for the development of its main objectives: a visitor center, a bridge, and a boardwalk. In other words, an integrated system, an urban architectural and landscape plan, highlighting the territory and the legacy of the Incas that accentuates the tourist experience from the Machu Picchu Pueblo (formerly Aguas Calientes) to the entrance of the citadel. These first installations are expected to ensure the conservation and sustainability of natural and archaeological resources, improve the quality of the visit and promote greater ownership of the local population.

The three projects and their different scales propose specific and careful solutions, from overall traits, material and construction details, to prioritizing the aspects of sustainability and durability. 

Visitor Center

The new visitor center will be the entrance to the Machu Picchu Archaeological National Park (PANM). The project is located across the Vilcanota river, at the base of the mountain, connected to a series of roads leading to the citadel of Machu Picchu, for automobiles as well as pedestrian and bicycle paths.

Courtesy of VISTA PREVIA & LLONAZAMORA
Courtesy of VISTA PREVIA & LLONAZAMORA

The proposal is divided into three main buildings connected by different squares or terraces. This set of three structures maintains the proportion observed in the gables of the Inca citadel, ceilings are inserted into the landscape, encompassed by the geography and the vegetation. 

Courtesy of LLONAZAMORA Personal archive
Courtesy of LLONAZAMORA Personal archive
Courtesy of LLONAZAMORA Personal archive
Courtesy of LLONAZAMORA Personal archive
Courtesy of LLONAZAMORA Personal archive
Courtesy of LLONAZAMORA Personal archive
Courtesy of LLONAZAMORA Personal archive
Courtesy of LLONAZAMORA Personal archive

Beneath the wooden ceilings, a large space houses the open plan of the visitor center, reinforcing an indoor experience that contrasts the grandeur of the exterior landscape, and prior to the spectacle of the summit. 

Courtesy of VISTA PREVIA & LLONAZAMORA
Courtesy of VISTA PREVIA & LLONAZAMORA
Courtesy of VISTA PREVIA & LLONAZAMORA
Courtesy of VISTA PREVIA & LLONAZAMORA

The plazas extend over the topography and frame the existing Inca walls to enhance them and make them part of the tour. These plazas connect the buildings to one another, articulating and integrating the visitor center with the landscape and the series of external routes that ascend to llaqta. 

Courtesy of VISTA PREVIA & LLONAZAMORA
Courtesy of VISTA PREVIA & LLONAZAMORA

Boardwalk

The Boardwalk is a 2-kilometer route along the Vilcanota river that connects Machu Picchu Pueblo (formerly Aguas Calientes) with the entrance to PANM. This route is the largest public space in the area, located on a complex system of ramparts along the river that seek to protect this essential infrastructure.

Courtesy of LLONAZAMORA Personal archive
Courtesy of LLONAZAMORA Personal archive

The project defines seven squares, which are places for residents and tourists to rest and come together. Each section is made up of three routes: the route for vehicular traffic, a bike path (which promotes new forms of tourism as well as recreation for residents), and the pedestrian path that connects the last two and introduces visitors to the natural landscape. 

Courtesy of LLONAZAMORA Personal archive
Courtesy of LLONAZAMORA Personal archive
Courtesy of LLONAZAMORA Personal archive
Courtesy of LLONAZAMORA Personal archive
Courtesy of LLONAZAMORA Personal archive
Courtesy of LLONAZAMORA Personal archive

This lush, green walkway is designed from a series of prefabricated elements of concrete and Corten steel, with the addition granite paving stones and stone elements. The walkway seeks to extend the atmosphere of the river bed up to the road, complementing the great stones and finding integration with the coastal landscape and the vegetation of the area. 

Courtesy of LLONAZAMORA Personal archive
Courtesy of LLONAZAMORA Personal archive

Bridge

The bridge is a project that creates a set of small public spaces, which make up one final rest area for visitors after visiting llaqta. In addition, it gives an opportunity to enjoy the landscape, showcasing the renovations and overlooking the starting path. 

Courtesy of VISTA PREVIA & LLONAZAMORA
Courtesy of VISTA PREVIA & LLONAZAMORA
Courtesy of LLONAZAMORA Personal archive
Courtesy of LLONAZAMORA Personal archive
Courtesy of LLONAZAMORA Personal archive
Courtesy of LLONAZAMORA Personal archive

This structure doesn’t imitate the Inca constructions and tries to keep its foundations as far as possible from the archaeological center. The current suggestion is a 74-meter Corten steel beam, with only three points of support, to allow the vegetation to continue growing and to diminish the bridge’s impact on the mountainside. 

Courtesy of LLONAZAMORA Personal archive
Courtesy of LLONAZAMORA Personal archive

The combined effort of these suggested projects doesn’t put the buildings at the center. Instead, it seeks to provide an architectural platform that enhances the landscape and the legacy of the Incas, placing special attention on the experience of tourists as well as inhabitants. 

Courtesy of VISTA PREVIA & LLONAZAMORA
Courtesy of VISTA PREVIA & LLONAZAMORA

Visitors Center:

Architecture

Architects: Arch. Michelle Llona
Project Manager: Arch. Rafael Zamora, Arch. María Alejandra Linares
Design team: Arch. Carolina Zegarra, Arch. Sebastián Schwarz, Arch. Karen Vila
Specializations:
Exhibit design: Arch. Juan Carlos Burga
Museology: Archaeologist Cecilia Pardo
Engineering of Concrete Structures: Eng. Luis Flores
Structural Engineering in Wood: Arch. Luis Takahashi
Engineering Facilities: JG Engineers
Lighting: Hilite SAC
Security Engineering: Architect Eddie Tafur
Environmental Conditioning: POGGIONE BIONDI Arquitectos
Location: Cusco Region, Urubamba Province, District of Machupicchu
Building area: 9,253.49m2
Client: Ministerio de Cultura, Dirección Desconcentrada de Cultura de Cusco 

Exteriors and Landscaping

Architects: Arch. Rafael Zamora, Architect María Alejandra Linares
Project Manager: Arch. Claudia Bode
Design team: Arch. Gabriela Aquije, Architect Carolina Zegarra, Architect Sebastián Schwarz, Architect Karen Vila, Architect Cristina Bonta
Specializations:
Agronomic Engineering: Eng. José Palacios
Engineering of Structures in Concrete: Eng. Luis Flores
Engineering of Structures (Exteriors and retaining walls): Eng. Juan Bariola
Engineering Facilities: JG Engineers
Lighting: Hilite SAC
Security Engineering: Architect Eddie Tafur
Location: Cusco Region, Urubamba Province, District of Machupicchu
Outdoor area: 10,261.01 m2.
Landscape area: 9,843 m2
Client: Ministerio de Cultura, Dirección Desconcentrada de Cultura de Cusco

Boardwalk:

Architects: Arch. Michelle Llona
Project Manager: Arch. Rafael Zamora, Arch. Lucia Weilg
Design team: Arch. María Alejandra Linares, Architect Carolina Zegarra, Architect Karen Vila
Location: Cusco Region, Urubamba Province, District of Machupicchu
Total built area: 27,338.00 m2.
Client: Municipal District of Macchupicchu Pueblo

Bridge:

Architects: Arch. Michelle Llona
Project Manager: Arch. Rafael Zamora, Arch. Lucia Weilg
Design team: Arch. María Alejandra Linares, Architect Carolina Zegarra, Architect Karen Vila
Engineers: Eng. Luis Flores Mantilla, Eng. Cesar Aranis García-Rosell
Location: Cusco Region, Urubamba Province, District of Machupicchu
Total built area: 506.20 m2
Client: Ministerio de Cultura, Dirección Desconcentrada de Cultura de Cusco

Image credit (drawings, diagrams, and sketches):  LLONAZAMORA Personal archive

Image Credit (renders): VISTA PREVIA and LLONAZAMORA

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About this author
Delia Bayona
Author
Cite: Bayona, Delia. "Winning Projects Reimagine the Tourist Experience of Machu Picchu" [Arquitectura en Machu Picchu, tres proyectos en el paisaje] 07 Mar 2017. ArchDaily. (Trans. Valletta, Matthew) Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/806390/winning-projects-reimagine-the-tourist-experience-of-machu-picchu/> ISSN 0719-8884
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