LocationColonia del Carmen, Valle de Chalco, Estado de México.
PhotographyCourtesy of Solis Colomer arquitectos
Text description provided by the architects. Located on the periphery of Mexico City, Chalco Community Center is the area’s most important facility, which is located on the perimeter of Central Square, opposite the church of the community, which requires the integration of the building into this public space, and as a consequence, the consolidation of this urban piece consisting of three elements: community center-square-church. Chalco Community Center thus becomes a link that weaves, unifies, and connects the community and the public space typical of small villages on the outskirts of Mexico City.
This facility has a varied social program, from childcare, community center, training center, local celebration venue, to name a few. This is why this building has become a widely accepted facility for the inhabitants, who have managed to recognize it as an important landmark of the place.
The building itself is an array of volumes regulated by the central courtyard typology, which integrates morphologically into the central square and creates a progression of scales between these two spaces.
Each of the volumes that make up the architectural composition vary in shape depending on their role. Classrooms are represented by volumes with the typical shape of gabled houses; the cafeteria by a volume with an elliptical plan; the multipurpose room by a regular parallelepiped; and the chapel by an elevated volume on stilts.
The intent of this volumetric variation is to impart a metaphorical content on the daily life of local people to each of the parts: the tree house, the dwelling unit, the reed hut, game room, etc.
The materiality of the project is one of its
core aspects. We wanted to recognize the local products and workforce and to
display them with a contemporary language, creating a dialogue between old and
new. Cement, clay, wood, and local sheet are part of the material palette that
was used in the project, all of them distributed and installed with local
Another material that deserves mention is the skin that covers the volumes that face the public space, which is inspired by local woven fabrics. This resource is used not only as an aspect that the user can recognize when experiencing the spaces, but also as a way of relating the office SOLIS COLOMER (Guatemala) and the local culture.
The project achieves, in a coherent manner, the relation between urban and building scales, between the inhabitant and the architectural object, between the community and Chalco community center, between the local culture and our office.