Elena Garro Cultural Center – México D.F.

Elena Garro Cultural Center Building, Architecture México, Barrio de la Concepción, Coyoacán

Elena Garro Cultural Center

Coyoacán Building Development, México D.F. – design by arquitectura 911sc

3 Oct 2013

Elena Garro Cultural Center

Design: arquitectura 911sc

Location: Fernández Leal #43, Barrio de la Concepción, Coyoacán, México D.F.

Elena Garro Cultural Center Building

ELENA GARRO CULTURAL CENTER

Photographs by: Jaime Navarro, Sandra Pereznieto

The Elena Garro Cultural Center is located in the historical district of Coyoacan in the southern part of Mexico City honoring the memory of the Mexican author.

Elena Garro Cultural Center Elena Garro Cultural Center Building Elena Garro Cultural Center Mexico City Elena Garro Cultural Center Coyoacán Elena Garro Cultural Center México
photos : Jaime Navarro

Faced with the task of preserving a heritage-listed house of the beginning of the 20th Century and transforming it into a multi-activity cultural center, the project deals with adding spaces and re-functionalizing the existing building in a contemporary fashion bookstore, an auditorium, cafeteria, seminar rooms as well as reading spaces, both interior and exterior are part of the program for the new Cultural Center.

The detached house is preserved and re-functionalized from the inside as well as two additions are built to the front and to the back in a strategy that strives to preserve and heighten the character of the existing building.

Towards the front of the street, an extension is built as a concrete frame with a glass façade that serves as a public foyer and re-establishes a relationship between the building and the street. The double-height walls are used as bookcases creating diagonal views from the sidewalks that allude to the program of the cultural center. Two platforms extend from the 2nd level of the house to give public access to the bookshelves on those new concrete walls.

Elena Garro Cultural Center Elena Garro Cultural Center Building Elena Garro Cultural Center Mexico City Elena Garro Cultural Center Coyoacán Elena Garro Cultural Center México
photos : Jaime Navarro

The demolition of a wall that separated street from property and a new garden act as an expansion of the sidewalk. Inside this front extension, the existing trees are preserved and a series of skylights in the roof that allow them to keep growing and simultaneously bring in light.

The interior of the existing house is transformed with a series of perforations that create double-height spaces and reading rooms. A wooden-clad stair leads to the second floor and through its scale and materiality becomes a relevant piece within the house. The openings where the existing house connects to the new additions are framed with steel plates that contrast with the thick masonry and brick walls.

Elena Garro Cultural Center Elena Garro Cultural Center Building Elena Garro Cultural Center Mexico City Elena Garro Cultural Center Coyoacán Elena Garro Cultural Center México
photos : Sandra Pereznieto

The addition at the back of the site is a cast-in-place concrete volume that houses parking in the basement and seminar rooms, offices, restrooms and a small auditorium in the two main floors. Offices and seminar rooms face a courtyard on the southwest corner of the building bringing in natural light. On the northern section, a small auditorium cladded in tzalam wood and with a foldable seating allows for multiple configurations and events.

On the northern side of the property is a reading garden with lush vegetation and soft paving designed with Entorno Taller de Diseño and a large cast-in-bronze doors; an artwork by Paloma Torres that configure an exterior space that connects to the existing building through the cafeteria.

The limited material palette, discrete volumetric interventions, the articulations between old and new and the exterior spaces attempt to give a new life to the existing property, creating a local cultural program for the neighborhood and honor the legacy of Elena Garro.

Elena Garro Cultural Center Elena Garro Cultural Center Building Elena Garro Cultural Center Mexico City Elena Garro Cultural Center Coyoacán Elena Garro Cultural Center México
photos : Sandra Pereznieto

Elena Garro Cultural Center Coyoacán – Building Information

Title: ELENA GARRO CULTURAL CENTER
Location: Fernández Leal #43, Barrio de la Concepción, Coyoacán, México D.F.
Project Design: Fernanda Canales + arquitectura 911sc
Design Leaders: Fernanda Canales, Saidee Springall, Jose Castillo
Design Team: Iván Cervantes, Edgar Romero, Arturo Carreón, Anabel Chavez, Javier Juárez
Status: Built (inaugurated Nov 2012)
Structure: Grupo SAI
Service systems project: Ing. Carlos Medina
Lighting project: Artenluz Arq. Javier Ten
Landscape project: Entorno Taller de Paisaje (Tonatiuh Martinez + Hugo Sánchez)
Construction: 1,358 sqm
Artistic collaboration: Paloma Torres. Bronze doors, work titled “Transformed forest”
Photographs: Jaime Navarro, Sandra Pereznieto

Elena Garro Cultural Center images / information from arquitectura 911sc


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Elena Garro Cultural Center Building