Mexico-based Dellekamp Arquitectos shared with us ‘New Palace-Lecumberri’, their proposal for the new archive in Mexico City Competition. They were one of the two finalists. More images and architect’s description after the break.
How do you rehabilitate a space originally designed to guard and punish into a center for knowledge and culture? How can you expose, resign and facilitate the access to an enclosed archive? In this project the space previously reserved for one person’s look, is opened for the gaze of everybody. Through an ambulatory we create a new democratic experience. We preserve the principle of the panopticon from its inverse: restoring force to the social gaze, descending the axis of the ensemble to its radial base, opening way to an integrated cognitive experience; articulating the architectural space from transparency and fluidity. The cultural center is designed as an archive of archives: their walkway becomes a multi-sensorial and haptic experience. The project does not only add new ways for reinterpretation of the acquis to the original program, it also provides resources for its sustainability. Museums, galleries, gardens and collections have been re-conceived as an expanded archive to attract and create new audiences to stimulate their urban environment. That purpose is achieved through three key elements: the architectural design, landscape architecture and museology.
I. ARQUITECTURAL PROJECT The pivot of project is an ambulatory with a double spiral staircase that connects the different cultural spaces with the gardens. The axis achieves a contemporary reinterpretation of the Panopticon, reversing the tower’s ascent by descending to a black box. The magic of this restrained area is the projection of the city into its center: including the urban exterior in its interior. The opening of new visual perceptions gives transparency and restores fluidity in the ensemble. The walls of the pentagonal areas northeast and southwest are preserved as a ruin.
II. LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE Outer space generates a Conclusus Hortus: gardens within gardens which interpret the excluded landscape, including the declined world, particularly the urban space, prison and sealed archive. The gardens will become an active part of the archive. A vegetal palette is assigned to each garden depending on its program. This solution resolves the present problem of the infested gardens by Mistletoe infestation. The proposed water recycling and rain harvesting on rooftops allows sustainable irrigation system.
III. Museology The museological proposal expands the traditional concept of archive and historical text; all senses are included in the perception of the collections, plants, spatial and haptic experience. Create a series of exhibitions that allow visitors of all ages and education to get closer to historical research, in a comparative and playful way. The discourse is part of the history of ideas that have shaped the national identity, questioning and inviting to reflect about Mexican’s plurality. It shows the historical complexity of social imaginary displaying the extraordinary collection of AGN and trying to fill historiographical gaps in the museological discourse. The exhibition will use hi-tech participatory resources which produce different levels of reading. The conditions of maintenance and safety standards follow international requirements. The project merges the etymology of Lecumberri, “new place”, with the site’s common name “Black Palace”, to generate a new palace. Architectural Project: Dellekamp Arquitectos|Periférica|TOA|Museográfica S.C. Project Leader: Derek Dellekamp, Rozana Montiel Team: Jachen Schleich, Carlos Zimbrón, Julien Salabell, Gabriela Saldaña, Alin V. Wallach Location: Mexico DF, Mexico Date: 2010 Status: Private Competition