ArchitectsGustavo Carmona + Lisa Beltrán
LocationMerida, Yucatan, Mexico
CollaborationKarla Uribe, Gustavo Xoxotla, Raybel Cuevas
Text description provided by the architects. A frame for the sky over a forest of columns shapes a pavilion to contemplate a well-orchestrated dialogue with the existing historical context.
The project sits within the garden premises of a historic 20th century eclectic house in Merida, Yucatan, considered national heritage and currently a museum. The garden regularly hosts social events for which temporary tents were assembled for weather protection. The client sought for a permanent structure to hold all kinds of scales of events and to enhance a more intimate relationship with the existing building.
The solution was a pavilion made of 36 slim columns that form a C shape promenade supporting a 6” thin, knife-edged canopy. The columns relate to the trees that surround the property and the balconies of the house. The roof reinforces the presence of the “emptied” space below contrasting with the solid nature of the house and connecting with the garden to its sides. The roof frames the sky converting it into a continuous phenomenological factor during the gatherings at any time of the day.
Materiality is defined through prefabricated white concrete using local stone and aggregates. The light color resonates with the character of the city and the house and allows light and shadow to mark the passage of the sun on its surfaces.
Seams at the prefab columns and canopy were carefully placed and detailed to emphasize the connections of the elements that were installed in less than 3 months, having the least impact to the business operation.
Above the roof a secondary steel structure allows for canopy calibration and ties all column heads to provide a hurricane safe structure. The steel grid also serves a track for a retractable roof that may be closed during rainy days.
The simple and evident tectonics create a language that dialogues between two epochs while providing limits and a sense of place for a space that would previously obviate the existence of the house.