Arquitectura Viva
Saturday, July 04, 2020

Teopanzolco Cultural Center, Oscar Niemeyer Prize 2018

REDBAAL (Latin American network of architecture biennials) has bestowed its Oscar Niemeyer Prize on Teopanzolco Cultural Center in Cuernavaca (Mexico), by Isaac Broid and Productora. In the second edition of the biennial prize, the jurors – Jean Pierre Crousse, Fabián Farfán, Carlos Jiménez, Carla Juaçaba, and César Shundi (president) – selected the winning project among the 104 Latin American works submitted. The second prize went to the Sitio Pachamac Museum in Lurín (Peru), by Patricia Llosa and Rodolfo Cortegana, and the third prize was for the children’s village in Formoso do Araguaia (Brazil), by Rosenbaum + Aleph Zero.

The team formed by the Mexican studios Isaac Broid and Productora built the Teopanzolco Auditorium next to the archaeological site from which it takes its name, in the city of Cuernavaca. To adapt to the site’s slope and establish a dialogue with the two pyramids of the Tlahuica civilization, the slanting roof follows the platform-slope-board sequence. This roof is where one of the two auditoriums is located, in the open air. Underneath is the second auditorium, accessed through a facade of large folding doors that becomes a meeting place before and after events. The building is based on two elements: a triangular floor plan containing the public programs (foyers, restrooms, ticket offices, cloakrooms, and auditorium); and a platform around it with the service and operations zones (dressing rooms, storage, etc.), including a multipurpose black box. The large base houses a series of courtyards including a sunken one which faces the secondary entrance of the auditorium and forms a small open-air theater. This platform creates a variety of outdoor spaces and organizes the secondary accesses to the auditorium or to the platform itself, and includes the tall trees that were on the site.
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