|PROJECT NAME||UNESCO World Heritage Site|
|SQ. FT.||3,000 SQF|
Before the Incas conquered the Chimu in the 15th century, their capital, Chan Chan, was the largest city in the Western Hemisphere, with a population of 60,000. More than four times that number, annually, now visit the ruins, a UNESCO World Heritage site near Trujillo, Peru. To accommodate the crowds, Utopus principal Javier Robles constructed a visitor center in 1997.
Brought back to update it, Robles honored Chimu building traditions by using a latticework of bamboo, woven cane, and rope to form both a canopy over the existing visitor center and a canopy and walls to enclose a 3,000-square-foot expanse of gravel in front of the entry. He also added long, low adobe benches similar to ones found on-site. Since the Chimu believed that the abundant local seafood was a heavenly blessing, shells are embedded throughout.
Photography courtesy of Utopus.