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Arauco commune in Chile will have a new Cultural Center by the end of the year


The Cultural Center being built in Arauco commune is 75% complete. This is a joint initiative between ARAUCO, La Fuente Foundation, and the local municipality, and is sponsored by the Cultural Donations Law.
The project, termed “Arauco Public Library and Halls for Cultural Activities” began after the earthquake on February 27, 2010. The forestry company and some of its foreign customers expressed their concern after the tragedy and decided to contribute to the reconstruction of one of the country’s signature buildings.
Marcia Orellana, the regional director of the Council for Culture, highlighted the private sector’s investment in culture, since it positively influences the quality of life of the commune’s residents and added that the Council will support this initiative “because we want this new infrastructure to operate at its full potential, in connection to the network of cultural areas of the region, particularly with the Bíobío Regional Theatre”.
ARAUCO’s Public Affairs Manager, Pablo Pelen, said “after the disaster we decided, with the municipality and the community, to work to rebuild the theatre and public library. A participatory process was implemented that determined the construction of an area to house all cultural and artistic movements of the province, and to generate a meeting place for the community”.
This initiative included the active participation of community members from the start, during meetings held with various cultural representatives in which opinions were expressed regarding the new Cultural Center.
The Arauco Cultural Corporation was constituted during the building’s construction. This entity’s mission is to manage the new cultural infrastructure. A consultancy team was created, comprised of the legal and cultural areas of the Municipality of Arauco, an ARAUCO company representative and the commune’s cultural agents.
The new building required a total investment of $2,600 million pesos, of which $500 million were contributed by ARAUCO customers, and the difference was directly donated by the forestry company. The construction work is to be completed during October or November of this year.
The projects’ 1,400 mt2 includes a library, a theatre with 250 retractable seats, three multipurpose halls and a cafeteria. The design features wood and glass and incorporates state of the art technology and energy efficiency aspects.
The architect responsible for the building’s design, Mauricio Leniz, of the firm Elton y Léniz, said that “the library is a very important part of this project. It’s a contemporary area that includes internet, over 7,000 volumes, areas for children, teenagers and adults, study halls, and multipurpose halls for a number of activities”, to promote reading among members of the community and nearby areas.