ResumoThis paper presents the design process of the Cañadón del Duraznillo Interpretation Center, located in the San Jorge Gulf in the Argentine Patagonia. This project was commissioned as a result of the creation of the Cañadón del Duraznillo Nature Reserve on the Atlantic coast of the Province of Santa Cruz, Argentina with the aim of preserving the biodiversity of the sea-coastal environment associated with the Patagonian Steppe. The Interpretation Center program includes a multi-use space meant for exhibitions, conferences and film projections; an administrative office, a house for a park ranger and a room for guest researchers. From the first morphological sketches to the selection of materials and working details, this design process was guided by simulations and studies of the environmental conditions specific to this particular case, as well as by guidelines and general recommendations appropriate for this climate and geographical location gathered from previous design experience and specialized literature. The studies performed included simulations of direct sunlight, solar radiation, wind, natural daylight and thermal characteristics of the building skin. The aim of this paper is to present a specific case of energy efficient and environmental low-impact architecture and to examine the methodological productivity of architectural design assisted by bio-climatic studies in the lab.
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