The Barragan Archivo Pavilion


competition promoter:
Archivo Diseño y Arquitectura, Domus Mexico


International Design Competition

Mexico City, Mexico


The Archivo Pavilion is made of the combination of three memories: a scene in an old Japanese movie, the colours of Oaxaca textiles and the landscape of the Nile valley at night.
A fence made of fabric is simply cut into the landscape as in Kurosawa’s Ran opening scene. The fabric is woven according to the traditional Oaxaca techniques and it is decorated with drawings of Mexican animals. The fabric hangs from aluminium poles supporting neon lights in bright colours, appearing in the dark as the surprising vernacular DanFlavins that cover mosques and punctuate
the nights of the Nile valley.
The wool tapestry is woven using traditional 2m wide looms. The tapestries will be woven in shorter pieces and sewn together. The work will be produced by the Zapotec weavers of Teotitlán del Valle and will be realized using the traditional colorful weavings (laadi) and the traditional dyes made from cochineal (produced by the insect from the Nopal cactus), indigo and moss. The weaving tradition
of Teotitlán del Valle goes back to pre-Hispanic times: Teotitlán had to pay tributes of cloth to the Aztecs. On the contrary, the contemporary use of wool implies an hybridization with European techniques, depending on the introduction of sheep in the valley by Juan López de Zárate in the 1500s.
The Pavilion is extremely simple: a 1,35 m high fence, supported by sixteen 2,70 cm high aluminium poles, with a single door and no roof. The Pavilion contains a single piece of furniture, a bar-drawer containing all the elements necessary for the operations happening inside the pavilion (from the stools necessary for the lectures and the events to the glasses for the cocktails).
The space is dynamic and intense and yet subtle: a first abstract and timid metropolitan field where interactions develop. The trees of the garden continuously appear beyond the fence, casting their shadows inside, defining the pavilion as a primeval clearance in the forest, a temporary suspension of the natural environment, a primitive bit of city (somehow underlining the weakness of any city in front of nature, even in the middle of one of the most aggressive cities in the world).
The extreme simplicity of the scheme allows a multitude of activities to take place inside the pavilion; a continuous process of reorganization invades the simple layout of the space: lectures, workshops, conversations, parties. In the pavilion it is also possible to do nothing, or to stay alone in a corner and read a book, or to sleep on the grass.
The bar-drawer and the stools are realized using 19 mm Masisa HR Hidrófugo. The aluminium poles will be realized using HunterDouglas profiles. The stools are traditional Mexican stools of the kind of the ones used by Barragán in his house.
The pavilion is extremely simple to realize. All materials involved in the construction can be re-used (in particular the artistic tapestry will become part of the collection of the Archivo).

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