Chihuahua is a Mexican state in the northwest region of the country, sharing a border with Coahuila, Durango, Sinaloa, and Sonora as well as the US states of New Mexico and Texas. Chihuahua's largest urban center is Ciudad Juárez, an industrial hub situated on the U.S.- Mexico border right across from El Paso, Texas. Throughout the years, Juarez's economic landscape has been dominated by the maquilladora industry and, thanks to the crime wave between 2008-2012, it earned a spot on the list of the world's most violent cities.
Chihuahua: The Latest Architecture and News
This project emerged during the summer of 2015, when CHOPEkE Collective, together with Paúl Pérez, a seminarian and active member of the group, visited the community of Santa Luisa de Marillac, located in the central periphery of Ciudad Juárez. At the time, members of the community had an "unworthy" space -as they called it- for their meetings and spiritual activities.
After several years spent broken and unusable, the local water source at Parque Urueta in the center of Chihuahua, Mexico, has been revitalized by the Instituto Superior de Arquitectura de Chihuahua’s (ISAD) Taller del Desierto student workshop. This year’s version of the annual workshop—called Urban SPA—has teamed up with PKMN architectures and Memela, as well as civil association Impulsados Capacidades and materials sponsor A+bien.
In an effort to create “a collective imaginary for the future,” the workshop began with initial ideas, like shaded areas for parents to drop off children for school, steps to link resting and sports areas, and bench maintenance actions. However, after neighbors voiced concerns about the park’s broken public water source, the workshop’s focus shifted towards the Urban SPA concept.