Okay holidays are over – it’s back to Chile posts.. On our 3rd day in Santiago we headed off to the Parque Quinta Normal by metro. The 96 acre (39h) park was initially established as an “acclimatization” park for imported trees and animal breeding site. Now it’s a gorgeous park of sweeping lawns and a lagoon.
as well as home to several museums including the Museo Nacional de Historia Natural (Natural History Museum) an outdoor Railway museum (Museo Ferroviario) and the MOD (Contemporary) on the outer edge:
As we walked through the park we were drawn towards an impressive blue building just opposite one of the entrance gates. It was the Museo Artequin which is in a building first used as the Chilean exhibition hall at the 1889 Parisian Expo.
The building was designed by the French architect Henri Picq who won the competition to build a collapsible building of iron, steel and zinc for the Expo. Built by Moisant, Laurent Savey & Co the building consists mostly of glass and riveted steel. It is wireframe (mechano). (The Eiffel Tower, by architect Gustave Eiffel, was built for the same exhibition using the same materials). At the Paris exhibition the building was named “The Chilean Pavilion” and demonstrated Chile’s accomplishments in Trade, Education, Agriculture and the Military.
At the conclusion of the expo the Pavilion was taken apart and shipped to Valparaiso and then put on a train to Santiago. It was reconstructed on its current site in 1894, renamed the Pavillion Paris, and housed the Exhibition of Mining & Metallurgy. The building became an Aeronautical Museum for the Air Force at some stage before being completely renovated in 1992, including being repainted in its original colours, and reopening as the Museo Artequin. This is mostly an educational facility for children but adult workshops & classes run by professional artists are also held here.
And there are small tables & drawing materials:
The building is 10m x 10m and 10 metres tall (33′) then topped with a large central glazed dome with 4 smaller domes in the corners. The metal frame/glass panels are collapsible; the interior is decorative plaster and cement fillings. The perimeter fence on the upper interior level is made of gypsum plaster with sand added. The coffered panels and decorative motifs are plaster moulded. (click on photos to see larger size).