2022

MCHAP

FARO Cosmos

Enrique Norten/ TEN Arquitectos

Alcaldía Miguel Hidalgo, Mexico

April 2021

PRIMARY AUTHOR

Enrique Norten

CONTRIBUTING AUTHOR

Melissa Fukumoto, Eduardo Ezeta, Francisco López Gaona, Ernesto Vázquez, Maria Vargas, Diego Urbano

CLIENT

Gobierno de la Ciudad de México/ Secretaría de Obras y Servicios

PHOTOGRAPHER

Jaime Navarro

OBJECTIVE

Re-thought as a cultural space, Enrique Norten / TEN Arquitectos restored the facade of the original building, along with the first structural bay. A new building was conceived where the movie theater used to be; at the center of the space is a Black Box Theater with a capacity for 400 people, where all kinds of artistic performances can be carried out. Around it, a continuous circulation path was created, allowing interstitial spaces for informal gatherings and activities.

The architectural program includes an indoor and an outdoor amphitheater, with a capacity for 350 and 150 people respectively, and a rooftop terrace for events, as well as multipurpose rooms and workshops.

CONTEXT

The long-standing Cine Cosmos building is located at the corner of the Circuito Interior and Calzada Mexico – Tacuba, in Mexico City. Spread over 2000 square meters, it was originally designed by the Architect Carlos Crombé. After a fire postponed its opening until 1948, Cine Cosmos - along with other cinemas such as the Opera, Teresa, and Alameda - was part of the “Mexican Cinema Corridor” which ran from through from the Calzada to the Historic City Center. It was also known as the most modern cinema of its time, where millions gathered to celebrate the Mexican Gold-era Cinema. The building was then incorporated into a chain of movie theaters that spread throughout the city until the mid-1990s when it closed for good.

In an attempt to recover the buildings built in the mid-20th century, it was acquired by the Miguel Hidalgo Mayor's Office, when TEN Arquitectos was commissioned to convert it into a cultural center. The project was later continued by the Government of Mexico City, and the Ministry of Culture now manages the cultural programming as part of the Factories of Arts and Crafts (FARO); cultural centers which to attend to the needs of areas that did not previously have any cultural infrastructure.

The directive was to conserve the original façade, but also to create a modern and contemporary infrastructure that would provide this part of the city with flexible space, able to accommodate cultural activities for its community.

PERFORMANCE

With the restoration of the original façade, natural interaction with the centenary Calzada México-Tacuba has been preserved, while with the integration of a contemporary architectural language over the bustling Circuito Interior engages in a present-day language with its neighbors and context. At the same time, an actual dialogue has been created with the City, by allowing the Circuito Interior to look into the FARO and its multiple activities, both because of the see-through quality of the materials, and also because of the way the program has been arranged. The façade becomes a point of interaction between the City and its community.

As an integrated whole, the new FARO Cosmos is a space that preserves the history of the place, while looking towards the future by creating a community center open to all ages and promoting cultural development of the performing and plastic arts, in addition to stimulating recreation and co-existence. A meeting point where history, art, and create a dialogue with the individual, promoting social recreation at the same time.