- Sustainable Engineering: Michelle Kalach
- Art Director: Fortuna Kalach
- Structural Calculation: Ricardo Gavira
- City: Mexico City
- Country: Mexico
Text description provided by the architects. El Terreno is a community garden and educational center built exclusively with recycled materials used in our previous constructions.
The site, rich in soil, minerals and stones, became an ideal setting to grow an urban garden dedicated to growing flowers, aromatic plants and vegetables. A multipurpose pavilion is inserted into the hill, gradually opening towards the garden. Bent rod sections become stone-filled retaining walls that surround the habitable area. The roof of the pavilion collects water for irrigation and simultaneously cultivates aromatic plants that invite the predominant pollinator population of the orchard. This roof is supported by trusses made up of sections of poles and bars that were previously used as falsework for old concrete formwork. Through just four different modules, all of the armor was assembled by community volunteers.
Our client, deeply involved in the cultivation of endemic and local species, is also a great promoter of environmental education. El Terreno is founded with the idea of being an environmental education center in connection with nature. The products that are grown are distributed in local stores and for personal consumption, distributed among users and community volunteers.
As a result of the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and the closing of schools, the design of El Terreno focused on a versatile space to house a kindergarten. With this in mind, we felt the responsibility of generating a non-referential architecture from materials, modules and construction methods conceived specifically for this project. For us, it was important to avoid any predisposition that we could generate in users when entering this new space since it is intended for plurality and the rediscovery of the user in their immediate environment.