- Design Team:Antonio Riquelme, Juan José Mena
Text description provided by the architects. This project consists of the design and builds of the ‘merino wool center’ pavilion in Marchigue, Chile. It was initially commissioned by a community of artisan women, ‘agrupación de artesanas ruta de la Lana merino’ among a region that draws upon a long-standing tradition and culture of merino wool weaving and knitting.
The timber pavilion will exhibit the group’s work together with the artisanal production process of merino wool and will offer a space for the sale of finished products for visitors.
The merino wool center introduces a space in which local artisans can explain the process of their work. this includes the storage of the raw material through the whole process until the final handcrafted product is ready to be sold. The building is designed with a linear programmatic layout, organizing the process stages in order to show visitors the production step by step from its point of origin.
The merino wool center is designed as a timber structure atop a concrete plinth which compensates for the sloping terrain. The structure is fabricated of laminated wood, processed in a CNC carving machine.
The architectural language of the building recalls the authentic rural constructions from the region, expressed as long wooden structures with wide eaves that help resist high temperatures in summer and winter rainy days. for the outer cladding, high-density polycarbonate panels were used. This material helps to evenly distribute natural light for working and exhibitions. also, by being semi-translucent, the lighting makes the building stand out as a landmark in the landscape.