By Dan Howarth
Materia, which is led by architects Gustavo Carmona and Lisa Beltran, chose to create a place for contemplation and reflection – as well as peaceful activities like yoga – for the 2017 edition of the annual commission.
It stands beside the Museo Tamayo in Chapultepec Park, and is backed by both the museum and the design week.
Eye-shaped in plan, the structure comprises two curved rows of white concrete columns. These 70 identical cuboids measure 4.8 metres tall and are linked close to their tops in pairs by pine wood beams.
As the timber braces are all the same length, they overhang at the corners, while extra vertical elements continue beyond the beams.
The pavilion is oriented east-west, so the sun’s path tracks overhead. During the day, the shadows cast by the beams onto the columns, and by the columns onto the ground, move slowly around the space to map the passage of time.
“The pavilion serves as a fragmenting filter of the surrounding gardens and the infinity of the sky,” said a statement from Design Week Mexico.
“Its language expresses contrast and duality: object and void coming together in an intertwined fabric of contemporary spirit. Made with craft and distilled technique, the space invites reflection and contemplation.”
The pavilion had just started construction when the quake hit. It was designed to withstand seismic activity up to magnitude 8.5, but Carmona told journalists the team was still concerned that they would incur setbacks.
However, the project went ahead and met the new deadline, taking just six weeks to complete from inception.
Design Week Mexico runs from 10 to 15 October 2017, with talks, exhibitions and installations taking place across the country’s capital.
Last year’s pavilion for the event was formed from a stack of empty cuboids representing both museum vitrines and coffins, created by Nikolaus Hirsch and Michel Müller.
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