Inspired by the Norway Glacier Museum, Glaciarium is a new cultural and scientific venue located in the Argentine Patagonia aimed at raising awareness about the importance of glaciers in the environment.
With green features in its construction and even greener intentions, it's a great addition to the tourism circuit in the very popular southern area of the country.Located at 5 kilometers from El Calafate and surrounded by The Glaciers National Park, Glaciarium attempts to add some extra meaning to the amazing natural beauty that surrounds it: the park in which it's located is around 4,500 sq kilometers and comprises 47 glaciers, the largest ice cap outside Antarctica and Greenland.
Apart from holding an exhibition that explains the role of glaciers in the environment and the threats of global warming, the museum also aims to be an investigation center and monitor the evolution of glaciers in the region.
Its scientific side will be directed by Pedro Skcarca, chief of Glaciology at the Argentine Antarctic Institute, who will continue his investigations inside the museum. It will also incorporate new talent in the future.
The building's shape was inspired in the glaciers' crashing blocks of ice and it was built with responsible practices.
To minimize the movement of soil, every part of it was set on the natural level of soil and the whole surrounding was left untouched. Its metal plaques structure is light and easy to disassemble, but every sector inside was isolated to minimize use of energy. All lightning in the main hall, auditorium foyer and exteriors is done with LEDs.
Additionally, the museum owners say they're aiming to include clean energy when the technology becomes more accessible (energy in Argentina is very cheap to justify the investment in wind and solar generators, which are still expensive).
One could argue the location of the museum, requiring a 5 kilometer car or bus trip is something to question. The so called 'ice bar' to be built in the future, which will require tons of energy to maintain, too.
However, it's nice to think that the current massive flow of tourists to the area can leave with more knowledge on the importance of what they're seeing.
For more on Glaciarium, visit their website.
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