ALMA Santiago Central Office handed over
5 November 2010
The Santiago Central Office headquarters of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) project have been officially handed over in the Vitacura district of the Chilean capital. Construction of the new building, which is adjacent to ESO’s Santiago offices and was built by ESO as part of its responsibilities as the European ALMA partner, has been completed. The handover ceremony took place on 5 November 2010.
The ceremony was attended by the ESO Director General, Tim de Zeeuw, and the ALMA Director, Thijs de Graauw.
The new building has a size of almost 7000 square metres over two storeys. It has more than 100 offices, as well as other facilities such as meeting rooms, an auditorium, and underground parking for 130 cars. The underground parking will allow some of the previous above-ground parking spaces to be replaced with green areas. As part of the construction, fourteen trees already on the site were moved to a new location at ESO, in a delicate operation carried out by a specialist company.
The ALMA staff, including management, administration, outreach, IT, science staff and astronomers are now settling in to their new offices. The Joint ALMA Observatory had previously rented offices at two sites in Santiago, at El Golf and Alsacia, which have now been vacated.
ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence, is a revolutionary astronomical telescope, comprising an array of 66 giant 12-metre and 7-metre diameter antennas observing at millimetre and submillimetre wavelengths. The facility is currently under construction on the 5000m high plateau of Chajnantor in the Chilean Andes. ALMA is a partnership of Europe, North America and East Asia in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. ESO is the European partner in ALMA.
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