Live Webcams at the ALMA Residencia

14 September, 2015

Two web cameras are now installed at the site of the ALMAResidencia, allowing anyone to follow the progress of its construction.

The ALMA Residencia will be the home for staff of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). It is sited at the ALMA Operations Support Facility, close to San Pedro de Atacama in northern Chile.

Construction work officially began on 23 February 2015 and is expected to last 17 months. The live transmissions from the webcams show the ongoing work in real time.

The shape of the buildings and the colour of the exteriors of this major architectural project have been designed to meld with the surrounding environment of the ALMA site. Given the harsh desert environment, remote location and shift work (both day and night) for the ALMA staff, the Residencia has been designed to provide a relaxing and pleasant on-site environment for staff, who come from as many as 20 countries worldwide.



The Residencia has two main zones: common areas and dormitory areas. The design is modular, allowing additional accommodation to be added if necessary. Initially there will be 120 rooms extending across six buildings. The common areas include leisure facilities such as a library, cafeteria, lounge, spa with gym, swimming pool, sauna, and barbecue area. A kitchen and dining room will also be provided, with enough space to accommodate half of the residents at any one time.

The design for the building was undertaken by the Finnish architects Kouvo & Partanen and was then adapted to the Chilean market by Rigotti & Simunovic Arquitectos, a Chilean architecture firm. The construction contract to build the ALMA Residencia was awarded to the consortium L y D–Axis, consisting of Constructora L y D S.A. and Axis Desarrollos Constructivos S.A. Both are Chilean companies with experience in constructing residential buildings in the challenging environment of northern Chile.

More information

The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), an international astronomy facility, is a partnership of ESO, the US National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) of Japan in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. ALMA is funded by ESO on behalf of its Member States, by NSF in cooperation with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the National Science Council of Taiwan (NSC) and by NINS in cooperation with the Academia Sinica (AS) in Taiwan and the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI).


Credit: J. Guarda (NRAO/AUI/NSF)


The ALMA Residencia webcams


Valeria Foncea
Education and Public Outreach Officer
Joint ALMA Observatory
Santiago, Chile
Tel: +56 2 467 6258
Cell: +56 9 75871963