The commemoration of a modern feat
The feat that the Ancud Schooner crew achieved in the mid-19th century is a real highlight that the Chilean nation treasures in its recent historical memory. In order to homage the sailors who annexed the Strait of Magellan to Chile, a great architectural fountain was inaugurated in January 2014 in Punta Arenas, the far-away region of the Strait of Magellan where the Chilote crew accomplished the annexation. The architectural fountain, built to commemorate the 169th anniversary of the expedition, depicts the bow of the schooner emerging from a group of rocks. Some bronze sculptures depicting relevant characters of the expedition stand on the ship. Read More
Just for twenty four hours
The vessel set sail for the Strait of Magellan in May 1843, with the intent to annex de facto the Strait to the Chilean territory. Though the Strait according to the Constitution of 1811 already belonged to the nation, it was in a delicate situation because of the interest that some foreign countries were showing in the land. Four months after setting sail and after many vicissitudes, the Ancud Schooner reached the Strait of Magellan and the crew staked the Chilean flag in the land, taking effective possession for Chile.
After just twenty four hours, the French ‘Phaeton’ corvette appeared with the intent to annex the Strait to France. Chilean captain John Williams, though, let the French commandant know that Chile would not allow any foreign flag in its territory without express authorization of the Government. The French ship had to weigh anchor and leave the Strait of Magellan – then, the land eventually became effective part of Chile.
A cooperative project
Hidroservicio Holzaptel, the company tasked with putting into operation the architectural fountain that accompanies the monument, contacted Safe-Rain so we could provide them with the material and the systems necessary to create the water jet and light design. It was a complicated project as the company facilities are located in Northern Chile and Punta Arenas is in the south of the country, by the Strait of Magellan. Reaching the south end of the American continent in order to accomplish the work presented many challenges, but they were successfully overcome by the firm thanks to their experience and problem-solving capacity. The cooperation between Hidroservicio Holzapfel and Safe-Rain led to a perfectly executed project that met every expectation.
As an essential part of the architectural fountain and the monument itself, we must highlight the presence of a colorful illumination that gives relevance to the water jets and the bronze and stone volumes. Due to the extreme weather conditions of the monument’s location, it was important to choose materials that could withstand temperature changes and corrosion.
The monument is illuminated with brass underwater dichroic LED lights, a metal that withstands extreme conditions better than any other. The lights are manageable and are specially designed to illuminate secondary effects in water feature fountains. On the other hand, the water jets are illuminated by Lake lights with submergible LED technology. These appliances are highly corrosion-resistant as they are made of stainless steel.
An outcome that meets any expectation
The magnificence that boasts the monument created by the sculptor Guillermo Meriño, together with the light and water structure put into operation by Hidroservicio Holzapfel with Safe-Rain technology, generates a great architectural fountain that commemorates a modern feat up to the historical epics from the time of the conquerors. A monument that celebrates the annexation of the Strait of Magellan to the Chilean territory: an evocative and emblematic place that constitutes the perfect background for this stunning monument and architectural fountain.