Chan Chan 2006

concorso di idee

pubblicato il:

iscrizione entro 15/11/2005

ARQUITECTUM, an enterprise dedicated to the organization of architectural contests, is pleased to welcome all architects from around the world to the  International Architectural Contest “CHAN CHAN 2006” to take place from October of 2005 until February of 2006 in the website:

ARQUITECTUM, in its desire to offer each year new and exciting locations in which to design and speculate with architecture, has chosen one of the most enigmatic and beautiful places in the world, the Citadel of CHAN CHAN, as the setting to collect the best ideas regarding the installation of objects in archaeological scenarios. Scenarios that because of their mystery and beauty, require a studied and careful intervention, of a profound ecological vision, and above all, of poetic architectural creativity.

This is why we are pleased to invite all architects from around the world to participate in the “CHAN CHAN 2006” idea contest. We wish to find the best proposals that envision the installation of a next generation observatory that renews the vision of tourism, and invites the visitor to enjoy a different and new kind of experience such as is spending the night and waking in front of the citadel of Chan Chan itself.

Next to the present day city of Trujillo lies the largest architectural evidence of Peru’s archaeological past: Chan Chan. Even though some older architectural remains have been identified in the citadel, Chan Chan was built by the Chimu or Chimor. The name belongs to a civilization that by the XIII or XIV century had reached its greatest territorial extension covering more than 1000 kilometes of Peru’s northern coast.

Known as “the world’s largest mud-brick city”, the central sector of Chan Chan is made up of walled architectural units known as “citadels”. These cover an area of 6 km2. Each “citadel” has recincts, piramids and excavated areas called huachaques. These were used as agricultural fields in which crops grew thanks to underground moisture.

The ruins of Chan Chan are located between 8º04’20” and 8º07’05” of southern latitude and 79º03’ and 79º06’ of western longitude. Its current perimeter is 15 kilometers long and its surface extension covers an area of 1,417,715 m2. Its longest side is 3,800 meters long and it is 3,100 meters long at its greatest width. The architectural remains lie on top of a terrace that slopes slightly towards the west and lies 16 meters above sea level and is only 600 meteres away from the ocean.

The most notorious characteristic of Chan Chan is the presence of large groups of walled architectural strucutures, made up of palaces and religious buildings, sets of symmetrical rooms, cubicles, passageways, courtyards, irrigated fields for crop cultivation, water reservoirs, plazas and small squares. In addition to these elements we find a royal mausoleum present in each group of buildings. These are known as “funerary platforms”. These groups are now called “citadels”, but used to be known as “palaces”.

The walls that enclose the many citadels are over 9 meters tall in some sectors and are up to 700 meters long. Entry is through one side and there is only one entrance. Ramps are used to climb to the upper sectors.

The Chan Chan citadels show in general terms great similarities. For example, there are some that are surrounded by one wall whereas there are others that have two or three enclosing them. The citadels usually have a rectangular layout but there are some that have square shape. As a unit the entire complex is rectangular in shape.

The areas surrounding Chan Chan are working class neighbourhoods. Here is were the people that served the rulers lived. From the air you can see the foundations of their modest houses and spaces. These must have housed potters, weavers and other artisans. If we take into consideration the information found in the myth of Ñaylamp, also probably those accolytes whose mission was to attend to high caste individuals. Rulers lived in the citadels, from where they gave orders and conducted rites, mostly to ensure successful food production (Kauffmann Doig 2002).

This idea contest is promoted by ARQUITECTUM in order to evaluate the possibility of installing a Beach Lodge that serves not only as an observatory from which to look at the fabulous citadel of Chan Chan, but also to provide temporary lodging for tourists (local and foreign) that wish to spend the night at the place, by the sea. The lodge must have a maximum height of 50 feet (15 meters) and have a basic layout plan that occupies a built area of approximately of 10,000 square feet (one thousand m2), which must include:

Participants must deliver their proposals via Internet in the form of a digital image. 


  • $ 5,000 for first place
  • $ 2,500 for second place
  • $ 1,000 for third place and 9 special mentions


All architects from around the world, including multidisciplinary teams (students and professionals from different fields) that include at least one architect.


  • CONTEST ANNOUNCEMENT September 1st, 2005
  • CONTEST BEGINS October 1st, 2005
  • ACCEPTANCE OF QUERIES DEADLINE until October 30th, 2005
  • QUERY RESPONSES POSTED November 15th, 2005
  • EARLY REGISTRATION until November 15th, 2005


  • Raphael Gabrion: FRANCE
  • Jean-francois Brecq: FRANCE
  • David Depoux: FRANCE


The Contest’s website will be operational starting October 1st, 2005. You will be able to register at the website and you will have access to all the information needed in order to participate in the contest (history, aerial photos, and plans in dwg format).


For more detailed information about the contest please visit the ARQUITECTUM web site ( and click on the button for “International Competitions: CHAN CHAN 2006”.

Any questions you may have can be sent to any of our email addresses: