Adventure travel specialist Antarctica21 has opened its new Explorers House in Punta Arenas, Chile. Explorers House is designed for guests preparing to fly to Antarctica, skipping over the notoriously rough seas of the Drake Passage to join their ship directly at the "White Continent." Equipped with a range of amenities, it functions as an Antarctic-themed private club, providing guests with an environment where they can relax and meet fellow travelers, as well as attend pre-departure briefings.
Explorers House serves as a private gathering space where guests are greeted by members of the Antarctica21 team and enjoy the same service quality they receive aboard the company’s ships, Magellan Explorer and Ocean Nova.
Explorers House is a former warehouse that processed and exported wool in the early 20th century. Antarctica21 acquired the property in 2019. Chilean architect Pedro Kovacic and designer Enrique Concha led the conversion project, infusing it with the spirit of Patagonian pioneers and Antarctic explorers while incorporating contemporary elements.
Originally made almost entirely of wood, the 21,500-square-foot building is now covered in an insulated shell of corrugated iron to protect it from the elements. Inside, the frame of the original structure, reinforced with new metalwork, remains visible and turquoise-colored floors evoke Antarctica’s icebergs. A skylight along the peak of the roof and large windows let in an abundance of natural light.
Spread over two levels, guest amenities include a reception area, restaurant serving regional Chilean cuisine, bar, coffee station, lounge space for 250 people, theater-style presentation space for 100 people, interactive touchscreens and live information screens, library, gear and gift shop, garden and restrooms.
Furthering Antarctica21’s commitment to sustainability, many of the building’s original materials were reused. Much of the upholstery is made of recycled industrial fibers, a solar panel system produces electricity and heat through radiant floors, and rainwater is harvested for use in the restrooms.