Foro Boca Concert Hall
Boca del Rio, Mexico
Michel Rojkind/ Rojkind Arquitectos
Municipio de Boca del Rio, Ver. (Miguel Ángel Yunes Márquez)
Jaime Navarro Soto Manuel Paul Rivera Saavedra
Appropriating the language of the jetty’s crude concrete blocks, the building was conceived as a cluster of cube-like volumes to break down its 58,000-square-foot mass. Inside, the design includes a 966-seat performance hall surrounded by back-of-house functions, as well as rehearsal rooms and other spaces that can host additional cultural programs. There are more opportunities to bring interesting artistic expressions because the important thing is to maintain the quality of the culture that is inside. The monumentality of the exterior carries into the interiors, expressed as soaring voids. Visitors enter the building beneath a cantilevered corner block, which hovers above the new public plaza. Inside, the main lobby is day-lit from skylights above and animated by suspended bridges and stairs that crisscross the space and flow to the auditorium’s different access points. The team limited the palette to concrete, granite, and wood. The materials express its construction logic inside and out. Understanding the local Mexican craft, the texture captures the light and shadow of the changing skies of Boca del Río.
Miguel Ángel Yunes Márquez, the then-mayor of Boca del Río, started the Boca del Río Philharmonic Orchestra in 2014, and that has since become the heart of the cultural life in the city. The then-mayor asked to design a home for the orchestra, the chosen site was located in a deteriorated area of Boca del Río where the Jamapa River meets the Gulf of Mexico. The important decision was to think about the building as part of a larger urban regeneration project that also could tie to a three-mile boulevard that the mayor had already started to work on to improve the pedestrian experience along the waterfront. This new area is undergoing a new zoning development that potentialize it.
Foro Boca, the house of the philharmonic orchestra serves as an urban detonator, cultural venue with the potential to trigger significant change in the local community and in the region at large. It has become an urban landmark that spurs activity on its public plazas, where children play and families come to promenade. And everyone can enjoy the concerts that take place behind its walls, as video of the live performances is projected outside, across the building’s imposing planes. After the opening concert, Foro Boca hosted White Canvas, an audiovisual piece by Cocolab, and a few days later the first edition of the National Book Fair in Boca del Río. Now that there is a building that can house all these activities, there will be more and more opportunities to bring interesting artistic expressions. The important thing is to maintain the quality of the culture that is inside.