MATERIA: Winner of World Design Awards 2023. The initial commission for this project entailed the design of a typical sales showroom for a new urban-scale real estate development. The development is set on a hilly expanse across the emblematic Tangamanga Park in San Luis Potosí, Mexico.
Through the design process and analysis, it was clear the project posed a great opportunity to reimagine the program to create a building that would be an icon in the land at first, to become then part of a bigger complex of buildings allowing the use of its spaces to be adaptable and secure a permanent lifespan for the community to come.
The resulting program and formal solution create an intimate link with the site’s hilly nature and the views from it to the park across the boulevard. Access to the building is set to happen at the top of the hill where the building meets the terrain as a park, gently sloping up and guiding visitors to a viewing terrace where the city and park views are framed. People then come down between concrete sculptural walls to find a welcoming lobby and interior spaces. The interior cross-section of the building keeps with the notion of a hill, introducing an amphitheater and double-height space that provides an ever-changing and dynamic flow. The amphitheater will serve to host lectures, presentations, and entertainment while support spaces include coworking and exhibit spaces, lounges, a catering kitchen, and offices.
The materiality transitions from the stereotomic character of the concrete forms that meet the terrain to the lighter perforated skin and glass that engages with natural light and views of the surroundings. The binary language expresses its relation to the interior program, being the solid what houses the more private spaces and the permeable what envelops the collective gatherings. The building experience is constantly transformed with the passing of time and light.
The project became disruptive, as it also changed how developers can think about how they engage a site and the future inhabitants of the communities they build. It also provides a new way in which to have temporary sale structures with little or no architectural value to become permanent buildings of clear identity, financial viability, and constant transformation.
World Design Awards Category
Mixed Use Built
San Luis Potosí
©Jaime Navarro Soto
Founded in 2006 by Gustavo Carmona and Lisa Beltrán, MATERIA is an international architecture practice based in Mexico City. Our work is characterized by the development of integral projects through intimate atmospheres closely related to the craft of materials, the needs of each client and the immediate context. The design process begins with the understanding of the project’s needs and the characteristics of the surroundings to create spaces that combine the program and sensory experience, expressed by a contemporary architectural language. We believe that spaces should be points of inflection and perceptual experiences: ATMOSPHERE DETAILED.