'la 68' cultural center promotes social discourse and inclusivity in mexico

'la 68' cultural center promotes social discourse and inclusivity in mexico

‘La 68’ restorative plan revives Merida’s abandoned landmark

 

FMT Estudio took over the architectural plan of the restored ‘La 68’ cultural center in Yucatan, Mexico. The team, undertaking the interior, custom-made furniture, and lighting design process renovated Merida’s building in an inclusive way. ‘La 68’ allows social discourse, dialogue, and exchange of ideas, as Merida’s evolving society demands. Originally known as ‘Elena Poniatowska’s cultural house’, the building hosted independent film screenings, book presentations, and outdoor dinners during its foremost opening. The cultural landmark was later abandoned for several years. The project, alongside the aesthetic rebuild, represents a critical opportunity to reevaluate the role cultural attractions play in society.

'la 68' cultural center promotes social discourse and inclusivity in mexico
all images by Cobalt is Blue – Pim Schalkwijk

 

 

conscious minimal restoration OF Merida’s historical center

 

The original building is the result of the merger of two colonial houses in Merida’s historical center. The proposal unifies the two constructions through a vibrant green textured mosaic floor, ‘simulating a long carpet that invites the user to walk through’, the team comments. Under the new cultural center’s principles, the design aims to highlight quiet spaces as neutral scenery, allowing the graphic imagery and the diversity of personalities to bring the building to life. Preserving the existing spaces through minimum intervention the restoration adapts different functions generating an empathetic and conscious dialogue. More specifically, the center accommodates a second-hand clothing store, a vegan products shop with a cafeteria, a gallery, a poetry library, and a forum, designed according to their distinctive aesthetic and function.

'la 68' cultural center promotes social discourse and inclusivity in mexico
blue-hued la 68’s cafeteria stands in the open zone

 

 

geometric volumes and vibrant patterns arrange the interior

 

The core element of the proposal is defined by the blue mosaics, both on a conceptual and spatial level. Two outdoor terraces with remade permeable pavements and endemic vegetation envelop this interior spatial arrangement, emphasizing its importance. These open zones host cultural events, yoga lessons, and film screenings. The bathroom is designed to allow natural light inside the booths, providing comfort. A monolithic sink enables users of different body types and capabilities, as it presents variable heights. Some elements function as witnesses of the passage of time, such as the masonry aligned to the cabinets, which indicates the preexistent partition wall. The facade was slightly repaired and repainted in neutral colors. To preserve the building’s heritage the representative moldings and cornices were retained, and the ironwork was designed according to the frame of the cultural center.

'la 68' cultural center promotes social discourse and inclusivity in mexico
a vibrant green textured mosaic floor unifies the interior areas

la-68-designboom-1800-2

natural light spreads inside the booths, providing comfort

'la 68' cultural center promotes social discourse and inclusivity in mexico
the monolithic sink for users of different body types and capabilities

'la 68' cultural center promotes social discourse and inclusivity in mexico
simple volumetric forms define the interior

'la 68' cultural center promotes social discourse and inclusivity in mexico
conscious design for various user capabilities

'la 68' cultural center promotes social discourse and inclusivity in mexico
vibrant colors immerse in the renovated interior space

la-68-designboom-1800-3

permeable pavements and endemic vegetation envelop the interior spatial arrangement

'la 68' cultural center promotes social discourse and inclusivity in mexico
the construction’s original frame was repaired with minor interventions

'la 68' cultural center promotes social discourse and inclusivity in mexico
moldings and cornices were retained to preserve the building’s architectural heritage

 

 

project info:

 

name: La 68
designers: FMT Estudio

photography: Cobalt is Blue – Pim Schalkwijk

location: Yucatan, Mexico

 

 

designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: christina vergopoulou | designboom

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