Design of new visitor complex entrance chosen for Machu Picchu

Design of new visitor complex entrance chosen for Machu Picchu

The design of a new visitors’ center and entry management point for Machu Picchu was chosen last week, the Peruvian Times reports.

Architect Michelle Llona’s project won the national competition. It was chosen from among four final architectural proposals.

Architectural illustration of what the new ticket office and entrance to Machu Picchu would look likeOfficials from Peru’s Ministry of Culture announced in January that they were evaluating plans to create a visitor and research center, as well as relocate the entry point into Machu Picchu from the current entrance just outside the mountaintop ruins to down below in the deep river gorge.

“Every year the number of visitors to Machu Picchu increases,” Culture Minister Diana Álvarez Calderón said in a statement, announcing the winning design. “As the Ministry of Culture we are working to ensure its conservation and provide adequate attention to the tourists.”

Construction of the $3 million project is planned to begin in the latter half of 2016.

Plans for a new, improved gateway into Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage cultural and natural site in 1983. The terms of its preservation is mandated under the U.N. convention, as well as Peruvian law.

With nearly 1.2 million visitors to the ancient Inca citadel last year, Machu Picchu far exceeded the daily maximum of tourists agreed to with UNESCO.  Peru is now under intense pressure to make drastic changes in order to avoid the iconic ancient citadel being added to UNESCO’s list of endangered sites.

Ricardo Ruiz Caro, chief of Cusco’s regional Culture Directorate, last month announced that by mid-July a new ticketing system would be implemented to enter the Inca citadel in two shifts — one in the morning and the other in the afternoon — through the remainder of this year’s high season.

While that announced emergency measure did not materialize, an expected surge of tourists following the conclusion of the World Cup in Brazil did, precipitating a rush for tickets in August and huge lines of people in Aguas Calientes waiting for the shuttle buses up to the ruins.

The lack of infrastructure and space in the small tourist town demonstrated how a new visitor complex could be vital to managing the flow of visitors to the site.

Browse through the architectural illustrations below. Click on the images to  see them enlarged:

Planned Machu Picchu Visitor Center overview
machu_picchu_visitor_center_plans_museum_exhibition_hall
Planned Machu Picchu visitor center to be built across the Vilcanota River, near the Puente Ruinas.
The planned Machu Picchu Visitor Center includes a theater
Machu Picchu Visitor Center museum exhibition hall
Souvenir shop conceptualized for planned Machu Picchu visitor center

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Authored by: Rick Vecchio

Rick Vecchio, Fertur’s director of development and marketing, was educated at the New School for Social Research and Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. He worked for Pacifica Radio WBAI and as a daily reporter for newspapers in New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts. Then in 1996, he decided it was time to realize a life-long dream of traveling to Peru. He never went back. While serving as Peru country manager for the South American Explorers from 1997-1999, he fell in love with Fertur's founder, Siduith Ferrer, and they married. Over the next six years, he worked as a correspondent for The Associated Press. Meanwhile, Siduith built the business, which he joined in January 2007. Now he designs custom educational and adventure tour packages for corporate and institutional clients, oversees Fertur’s Internet platform and occasionally leads special trips, always with an eye open for a good story to write about.

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