Pinohuacho Observation Deck by
Rodrigo Sheward Giordano



Architect Rodrigo Sheward Giordano from The School Of Architecture at the University Of Talca, Chile has designed and managed the construction of Pinohuacho Observation Deck in Chile.


The shelter is built on former logging territory and can be used by hunters during the winter, and by hikers during the summer.


The timber was collected from trees left over from logging and was sawn and prepared on site.


Photos by Rodrigo Sheward & German Valenzuela.


The text below is from Jose Luis Uribe, a tutor at the School of Architecture, University of Talca:


Pinohuacho Observation Deck
Architect: Rodrigo Sheward Giordano
School Of Architecture University Of Talca

This work is the outcome of the process by which students obtained their Architect´s diploma at the School of Architecture, University of Talca in Chile. It involved all phases from the design and management to actually building a work of architecture that would contribute to the public.


An hours walk along a winding track that climbs the slopes of a hill to reach its summit. Walking through regeneration forests and remnants of ancient timber exploitation, the conversion of this territory marks the end of logging and initiation into various crops, all of subsistence, such as the planting of potatoes and oats.


Curious to meet with these purple flowers crowning the cleared hills that define the limits of the old forest and the cultivation area. 

What is architecture doing in this place. Looking for the connection between thought and architectural work. Trying to set an agenda for the territory.


The commission is first from the School: to bring architecture where there is none, to reach where the commission is not expecting an answer. Create a space to allow dialogue, and for this manage, design and build. An unpaved road for an architect who is planning his Opera Prima.


The piece consists of two volumes 80 meters apart from one another. The first looks on the side the Villarrica volcano, the other facing the lakes Calafquén and Panguipulli. A fence sets the limit to the animals and the visitors coming from the forest on horseback or on foot.


96 pieces of 10 x 120 inches form the main body, a storage facility that allows these communities to double their production. During winter it will be a lair for the hunters of wild boar; during summer a stop over for hikers, naturalists and curious.


The volumes are built with the material history of this place, not with the strategy of the mountaineer. They emerge from the will of the doing. Each of the pieces was collected from the trees left behind by logging. Each piece was sawn on site, modeled on the spot, bolted on the spot, invented at the site.


Rodrigo Sheward has given way to a long academic discussion, to an extensive conversation with the locals, to long walks. But also to the hard work of the woodsman, that probably will end his days building with the same determination with which it once devastated the location.








Posted on Saturday January 24th 2009 at 6:41 am by Rachael Sykes. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • terrain

    You may like to project or not – but this is a great project documentation.
    To show the labor of building, material use and athmosphere has become a rare moment.
    Thank you for pausing with the usual set of renderings.

  • Less Please.

    what beats this sturdy beauty’s instinctual appeal. A stonehenge for the future. I want to rediscover this en plein air. Cheers, with a pint!

  • Mario Furčić

    sitting bench is possitioned too close to the opening, your visual field is the same as sitting outside. but if the bench was possitioned on the far end, then the opening would become a window because of the perspective.
    that is an important detail because a window is a frame for the landscape. imagine, sitting outside and inside the pavillion is exactly the same, instead the pavillion should have brought another view of the nature – a picture with a frame opposed to a 180° view angle of an eye.

    of course, you can stand at the entrance of the pavillion and observe the described effect, but it seems like the author didn’t understand the effects of his building. also, the photographer used a zoom lens which negates the effect of the framing because it doesn’t show perspective shortening, he should have used a 50mm lens which equals the human eye visual field.

  • Jon-Paul

    Can this culture of preservation, art, design and dialogue be fostered in Central America as well?

  • Oggy


  • nothingbutcode

    it is interesting to me to think about an architecture with an ambiguous goal, in a setting that may not receive much visitation, yet stands alone almost as a testament to itself.

    i’m not sure.

    there is something very moving about that.

  • I agree with the gorgeous photos of the process of building. Real hard work. A realistic rendering would absolutely kill this wonderfun, simple, yet gorgeous object of architecture!

  • pipe down

    shsss … just enjoy the moment.

    mr. Giordano should be highly commended.