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2018 MCHAP

Teopanzolco Cultural Center


Cuernavaca, Mexico

July 2017


Carlos Bedoya Abel Perles Wonne Ickx Victor Jaime Isaac Broid


Alejandro Luna e Itzel Alba ( Theatre Counsel) Cristian Ezcurdia (Acoustic Counsel) Jaume Soler (ARUP) (Acoustic Counsel)


Cristina Faesler - Secretary of Culture of the State of Morelos


Jaime Navarro Soto


The building is organized around two elements with strong geometric definitions: a triangular building that contains the public programs (lobbies, services, box office, restrooms, the 800 seat performance hall) and the platform surrounding it that contains the backstage (dressing rooms, storage, workshops, etc), including a multipurpose black box theater mostly used for rehearsals. The horizontal platform surrounding the triangular building serves as a viewing area towards the city. This grand plinth contains a series of patios and openings to preserve existing trees, green areas and an open-air theater space. The main triangular-shaped roof comprises a large stepped ramp reducing the physical presence and visual impact of the new building, as well as converting the roof itself into an additional open-air auditorium, which has the archeological site as a backdrop. This great triangular esplanade forms the roof of the auditorium’s main hall, and contains another, smaller triangular esplanade that in turn forms the roof of the main lobby. Both platforms descend in opposite directions and create a visual interplay of inclined planes that can be appreciated from different points of the building. The interplay these platonic solids, creates an exciting composition of outdoor spaces, open viewing platforms and shaded plazas that can be activated in multiple ways.


The project for the new Cultural Center is located on a site opposite the archeological zone of Teopanzolco, a situation that proposes two fundamental strategies: on the one hand to enhance the relationship with the archeological site and on the other to generate a significant public space. The axis of composition of the triangular floor plan of the entrance space was deliberately aligned with the main pyramid. As a result, the lobby placed exactly opposite the pyramid becomes a viewpoint and a space for meeting before or after events, and a space that establishes an ongoing dialogue with contemporary cultural life and the presence of the past


The complex is designed in such a way that the operation of the building can be done in the most energy-efficient way. The main lobby is a semi-open space with strategically located apertures permitting cross-ventilation, avoiding the use of mechanical air conditioning systems. The mild climate of Cuernavaca allowed us indeed to reduce air-conditioning to only the main performance hall: all supporting spaces are outdoor spaces or designed as passive environments with natural ventilation. There is no glass used in any part of the building: from the main foyers (which have large door made out of metal mesh) to the backstage areas and dressing rooms (which have window openings covered with mosquito nets) all areas are directly open connected to the surrounding environment. The chosen materials (pigmented concrete, oxidized steel and wood for the interiors) do not only emanate an earth-bound atmosphere, but are also materials that age really well, thus creating a building that will maintain its presence and character over time and that requires very limited maintenance.

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