In the City of Pachuca, in the State of Hidalgo, Mexico, a new urban development was created, consisting of various residential, commercial and services programs in a section of the City known as the “Zona Plateada”1 (Silver Zone). Ejido societies, government entities and private promoters formed a partnership to make viable the construction of this Cultural and Services Complex.
The idea came about in this project to create a 25-hectare Cultural Park with the name “Parque Cultural y Recreativo David Ben Gurion”.
The central feature of this Park is a large mural plaza, 80 x 400 meters, made by the plastic artist Byron Gálvez, who comes from Hidalgo. This plaza, made with small mosaic pieces, covers an area full of different colors measuring 32,000 square meters. Around this plaza there are various spaces: the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Audiorama, the Park of Sculptures, the State Central Library, the Convention Center, the Science and Technology Museum, a 5-star Hotel, and crowning the complex, the Gota de Plata Auditorium Theater.
The project of the Gota de Plata Auditorium Theater, made by the architects Jaime Varon, Abraham Metta and Alex Metta of the firm Migdal Arquitectos, is one of the main elements of this great complex. It is situated at the southern head of the Cultural Park and because of its position inside the complex, it acts as the Crowning Visual Element of this great “sea of colors”. From this, the idea arose of reflecting the mural plaza through a great reflective cover of mirror glass mullions, laid out at a height of 25 meters and with an overhang at both ends of nearly 40 meters.
This building offsets on a petreous podium, where one of the main objectives is to be the first point for observing the mural. Its theater curtain or backdrop is represented by a petreous element that houses the stage, backstage and theater machinery.
The shell of the Auditorium Theater is presented in shades of silver and black, in honor of the Silver Zone of the City of Pachuca; whereas inside, it has shades of brown and intense reds that represent the heart of the project, a living project, in remembrance of the great theaters of old.
Perrons and ramps function as connectors so that the flow of the people is constant. The Auditorium is accessed through an exterior perron that connects the plaza to the auditorium, and through a great mouth that acts as the main access located at one side of the building; this is capped with a great lobby or foyer that also serves as a meeting place and distribution space, acting as a space from where the great mural plaza can be observed. Because of the enormous transparency achieved in the foyer through huge windows that are completely transparent and slender silver posts, the space of the plaza becomes part of the Auditorium itself, creating a virtually continuous space.
Also, the Auditorium Theater has a balcony on the first level and an outside belvedere, a stage of sufficient dimensions to present any kind of show, a backstage, dressing rooms, orchestra pit, balcony, orchestra and parking lots. In addition, there are suitable facilities for the proper functioning of the Auditorium Theater.
The construction of this Auditorium was finished in 11 months. The construction system mostly used prefabricated concrete and steel pieces, which speed up the time in which the works were completed. Around 1500 tons of steel were used, including cantilever frameworks of over 40 meters long, as well as various precast concrete elements, such as columns, beams, gradins, slabs or false walls.
Detailed studies were made of the adaptations and features the Auditorium Theater had to have. The architectural isoptic and acoustic design was done in accordance with various studies that enabled the correct definition of angles and false ceilings in the hall. The voice of a person or the sound of a guitar or even a symphony orchestra can be heard with perfect acoustics from any point or corner of the hall. These studies were done with a virtual computer program called CATT – Acoustic V8-0a at MIT University in Boston.
Since the Auditorium Theater faces north, it was possible to direct the reflective elements of the cover without causing any troublesome solar reflections to pedestrians or vehicles. The large cover reflects and in a way reinterprets in an ever changing way the different colors and textures of the mural plaza.
1 Name obtained in honor of the silver mining that was done in this area.
Location: Mexico, MX