Floating Pier Patagonia
Achao, Chiloe Island, Chile

Author: Cristian Suau
Degree project: MArch in Architecture (final project), FAU, University of Chile
Year: 1993
Mark: First class honours (1st) RIBA standards
Publication: Revista FAU, University of Chile
Materials: timber frames and cladding, plywood panels, standard insulation, double glazing, timber louvres, PV-panels, metal pontoons, timber decking & tubular pile foundations
Place: Achao, Chiloe Island, Chile

Following the successful results in timber construction obtained in the Maipo Cultural Centre's award during early 1993. Suau continues the constructive and material exploration in timber technology by proposing a floating pier in the rural settlement of Achao, a minor fishing and transport jetty that connects Chiloe islands with the American continent. The design consisted in a linear, flexible and modular timber system consisting of a timber module of 3.60m x 3.60m, which allows maximum changeability of spaces for store, market and vehicles. The length of the pier follows the tidal phenomena similar to what e can observe in the Welsh littoral. This design respect the building tradition of the so-called 'palafitos', dwellings upon pilotis along the shoreline of Chiloe. This project has a curve timber roof which imitate the shape of an grand up-side-down boat. This project was exhibited in the Municipality of Achao as part of the study of urban image and new code modifications of its urban planning.

Download PDF Design Project


aerial view of achao town  

the beach & its existing pier  

tidal shifting  

achao - existing pier  

the palafitos  dwellings upon pilotis

pontoons - floating pier  

across section - floating pier  

overall view - floating pier  

crane node - floating pier  

roof detail - floating pier  

modular frame - floating pier