ESO Hotel

Building the Paranal Residencia — From Turbulence to Tranquility (as it appears in 2012). [1]
The Garden of the Residencia in ESO Hotel

ESO Hotel at Cerro Paranal (or Residencia) is the accommodation for Paranal Observatory in Chile since 2002.[2] It is mainly used for the ESO (European Southern Observatory) scientists and engineers who work there on a roster system. It has been called a "boarding house on Mars", because the desert surroundings are Mars-like,[3] and an "Oasis for astronomers".[4] It is not a commercial hotel, and the public cannot book rooms.[5]

The total area is 10 000 m², with the L-shape being 176 m x 53 m. It has 4 levels, 1 000 m² of Gardens, 108 rooms, and 18 offices.[2] It includes a restaurant, music room, library, swimming-pool, and sauna.[2] Its inauguration was in February 2002 [2]

The hotel is located at 2,400 meters (7,900 ft) above sea level on Cerro Paranal. The people there work in extreme climatic conditions including intense sunlight, dryness, high wind speeds and great fluctuations in temperature. To protect against these an artificial oasis has been built where people can relax between shifts. The Hotel has 120 rooms and other public spaces: a canteen, lounge, swimming pool, a fitness center and library.

The Hotel complex, comprising four levels, fits snugly into an existing depression in the ground. There are spectacular views out across the desert to the Pacific Ocean from each of the 120 rooms and also from the dining room veranda. Also visible is a slightly raised dome comprising a steel skeleton that measures 35 meters (115 ft) in diameter.

The hotel's exterior was featured in the 2008 Bond film Quantum of Solace.[5] A miniature of the hotel was built by the visual effects team for the shots where the hotel is destroyed.

The architect was Auer+Weber of Germany and the constructor was Vial y Vives Ltda. of Chile.[2] It won the Cityscape Architectural Review Awards in 2005.[5] In 2004 it won the new and overall Leaf-Awards.[5]

See also

The Residencia under construction at the end of 2000.[4]


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