The teacher’s brief was to propose an architectural intervention in a former industrial enclosure of high patrimonial value in Puebla (Mexico). It was “The Mexican Witness” textile factory, which was supposed to be transformed into a university campus containing a culinary school, a music conservatory, and a student residence.
The main strategy of the project was to reinforce public spaces connecting the refurbished buildings by two courtyards comprising different degrees of privacy. Actually, this privacy has been created by the manipulation of the topography, which has generated new individual entrances to the enclosure. The scale, form and materiality of the new buildings have been designed to sensitively co-ordinate with the existing historic structures, but at the same time, they are highly modern in their construction.
The Textile factory is placed close to the river Atoyac. In the beginning it was distant from the city center, but nowadays it has been absorbed by the urban growth. The master plan’s goal has been to improve the identity and legibility of each factory building, while completing a unitary action in the wide industrial enclosure. It has also been created several constructions strategically buried into the natural banks of the river taking advantage of the thermal cooling benefits of the earth. This solution reactivates the river, and immerses it in the existent urban grain.
Regarding the different areas it must be noticed that the dorm rooms are situated surrounding the main public courtyard. They maintain the original volume of the building, and have inspiring views of the new private green spaces that cover both sides of the construction. The rehearsal rooms of the music conservatory are situated along the riverside, while the administrative offices are placed in the original fabric structure. The high ceilings of the historical construction were suitable to develop into two storeys to house the library and the exhibition areas. Finally, the culinary school is located between the river Atoyac and the northern forest, where the textile warehouse and the old offices used to be situated. The two storeys high warehouse takes advantage of the views to both sides by large bay windows. It retains its metallic structure system to support the use of roller looms between pillars to separate the cooking areas.
Status: School Project
Location: Puebla, MX