El Higuerón Community Center


TYPOLOGY: Public Space, Cultural Center
CREDITS: In partnership with Dellekamp Schleich Arquitectos
YEAR: 2018 – 2019
LOCATION: Jojutla, México
CLIENT: Infonavit

This project is part of the reconstruction of México after the earthquake of September 2017.

For the Higuerón project, community center and public space, it was essential to establish a spatial structure that would set a geometric order.

The new construction needed to incorporate a pre-existing tortillería owned and used by the community; demolishing it was out of the question. The park, covering almost an entire block, called to link a network of public spaces, not just as the tree-filled area as it was before the earthquake. To the rear—although this could also be understood as being to the front because it was on the route from the town center—there were already roofed sports facilities that we needed to connect to the building.

The center has an L-shaped layout, with the middle opened for people to be able pass through and to connect with the sport facilities. On the shorter side of the L-shaped plan, we connected the tortillería by repeating the pattern of the structural portico. The need to make the structure porous in relation to the street, and the portico’s solution to relate and link to the pre-existing construction, determined that the spatial system needed to be a precise grid around the perimeter. Once this grid was complete, the program was contained by setting it back from the structural perimeter and raising its level 1.20 meters above the park to create an expansive threshold, a useful intermediate space for retreats and concerts, somewhere to enjoy and share urban life.

This project reflects our ideas of intermediate space, inside and outside, of ambiguous spaces, but made of specific elements. An architecture for the tropics.