Mexico City, Mexico
Michel Rojkind / Rojkind Arquitectos, Gerardo Salinas / Rojkind Arquitectos
Alberto Villareal / Zanic (Interiors) CTC Ingenieros (Structural Engineer), IPDS (MEP Engineer), Studio NYL (Roof Structure Engineer), Ambiente Arquitectos (Landscape Architect), Ideas y Proyectos en Luz (Lighting Consultant), Auerbach Pollok Friedlander (A/V Consultant), Seamonk (Acoustical Consultant), Cítrico Gráfico SC (Graphic Design), Welcome Branding Group (Graphic Design)
Jaime Navarro, Paul Rivera
Facing total renewal, Cineteca’s original project brief included the expansion and renovation of the existing complex incorporating additional vault space and four more screening rooms. But in response to the immediate urban condition, additional restorative work needed to be done to reclaim part of the site as public space, give relief to the dense new-development-filled surroundings of Xoco and accommodate the constant flow of pedestrians and casual visitors.
Located in the southern quadrant of Mexico City, the National Film Archive and Film Institute of Mexico is home to the most important film heritage of Latin America. Its campus occupied an underutilized site of considerable dimensions within the strangled town of Xoco. This historic town, once surrounded by agricultural land, now sits deep within the urban sprawl and faces extinction due to economic and political pressures from developers and municipal authorities which covet its privileged location. The existing complex dated from 1982, when a fire destroyed part of the campus and most of its archive, and was a “temporary” facility never well suited for its purpose. Additionally, thousands of people cross the grounds daily as they walked to and from one of the city’s nearby metro station, Estación Metro Coyoacán.
First, surface parking was consolidated into a six story structure freeing 40% of the site. Then the pedestrian friendly “back entrance” was reactivated. The reclaimed space now houses the new program organized along two axes, one perpendicular to the street of Real Mayorazgo becoming the main pedestrian entrance and the other perpendicular to Av. México-Coyoacán. The axes intersection became a new public plaza sheltered from the weather by a hovering canopy connecting the existing complex with the new screening rooms. Clad in composite aluminum panels, with varied size triangular perforations, the roof structure wraps around the new screening rooms and becomes their façade. The sheltered space functions as the foyer for the old and new screening rooms and can accommodate additional program options such as concerts, theater, exhibitions, etc. An outdoor amphitheater, extensive landscaping and new retail spaces were added to the original program expanding the possibilities for social and cultural interaction and exchanges, and giving the complex a university campus feel. By the end of the first year since the renovation attendance numbers increased by 49.35%. Commuters still walk back and forth across the campus, medical staff from a nearby hospital stop by to eat their lunches, students hang out at the park in the afternoon, and moviegoers attend free outdoor events in the evening. The added amenities have turned the complex into a favorite hangout space not only for moviegoers but also for Xoco residents and workers who have appropriated the space as if it were their backyard.