Text description provided by the architects. Vistas del Cerro Grande is an irregular settlement located on the southeast periphery of Chihuahua City. Its characteristics were very specific and particular since it lacked services and urban infrastructure. The generalized insecurity in the city and the lack of public spaces turned this neighborhood into a troubled and dangerous area.
In response to this situation, the government in turn promoted the construction of 3 community-based projects to support the development of the area with the intention of promoting the safety and well-being of the inhabitants. A community center, a health center and a sports center were built to address these priority issues.
The project of the community center Vistas del Cerro Grande is developed from three important points: the user, the program and its geographical location.
The complex is surrounded by a series of mountains that contains it. The visual from any point of the community center looks at a mountain. To the west, Cerro Grande is an iconic mountain of the city, to the south a small mountain range, to the east the Sierra of Santa Eulalia and the North Sierra de Nombre de Dios.
The fact of being located between these natural elements becomes a relation of visual focuses that intervene in the design process, seeking that the buildings simulate or represent the same mountains and in turn dialogue with them and with each other.
Based on the relationships between spaces, daily paths and visual relationships existing in the site, we started from conceptual exercises through layers of physical information of the place in interconnection with the travel of the sun throughout the day and during the year.
The architectural program allowed us to "break" the building and look for a series of built spaces, distributed in the void of the visual and pedestrian routes that people traveled in day to day. The intention to break this space was to avoid a massive building in a context where the scale and structure is very horizontal and very small.
The results obtained from the conceptual process were the precise locations where the sun and people traveled, which allowed us to start our design process from the exterior spaces that had to be maintained and locate what was built in the empty spaces.
Each volume responds to a function in the architectural program. These ephemeral objects take materiality seeking to determine a basic architecture in their processes which was understood and assimilated by the user. Because of the peripheral character and precarious housing that prevails in the urban environment we decided to use traditional materials, of constructive simplicity such as the walls of cut stone, a traditional system of the region. The roughness, the capriciousness of the material and the decision of the mason, the one who constructs the wall, discover in the day to day a different architecture determined by the same elements that conceptually defined it.