The most modern cultural center for the performing arts in the country, offering a broad national and international program of music, dance and theater. Set in the dynamic Lastarria quarter, with places to enjoy cuisine and cultural activities close by. This venue was reconstructed on 22 thousand square meters as a building that draws together transparency, the surrounding quarter and numerous original works of art. It houses ten rooms for presenting and rehearsing theater, dance and music, a library and study rooms. It has a café, wine shop, library, bookshop, antiques shop and fair.
The building housing the GAM was erected in 1972, as the headquarters of the Third World Trade and Development Conference of the United Nations, UNCTAD III, to discuss how to overcome poverty. It was a milestone of architectural modernity and a utopia in construction in Latin America. In 1972, it was placed under the Ministry of Education, under the name of Gabriela Mistral Metropolitan Cultural Center, a role carried out for over a year.
In the wake of 11th September 1973, and while La Moneda was being rebuilt, it housed the offices of the military government. With the return to democracy, in 1989, it became a convention center.
In early 2006, a fire destroyed 40% of the building, causing the roof’s metal structure to cave in. This situation led Michelle Bachelet’s administration to return it to the people as a cultural center. A special committee of ministers called for international proposals to design the architecture. A condition of the tender was that the original significance of the building should be restored and that “the people should be given back a building created for the nation”. The Gabriela Mistral cultural center was officially opened in 2010, under the administration of Sebastián Piñera. Since then, it has been involved in intense cultural management activities.
A system of façades ranging from completely open and transparent (library, rehearsal rooms) to fully opaque and closed (rooms for music and the performing arts) stands out in the building.
The venue comprises three buildings that contain and represent the main lines of work of the center: the library and performance rooms; rehearsal rooms for the performing arts and music (rehearsal, exhibition and seminar rooms); and the Grand Auditorium, a theater with a capacity for two thousand people. The area between them converts into covered squares for the city, by way of an invitation to inhabit a building complex that blends into the urban routine.
Its stage equipment is unique in the country, incorporating audiovisual projection and lighting elements, with leading edge technology.
Avenida Libertador Bernardo O'Higgins, 227, Santiago.