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Álvaro Siza's Clay Pavilion in Mexico promotes knowledge and techniques of clay material

Mexico Architecture News - Mar 08, 2021 - 17:10   6437 views

Álvaro Siza's Clay Pavilion in Mexico promotes knowledge and techniques of clay material

Portuguese and Pritzker-prize winning architect Álvaro Siza has completed a pavilion that promotes the knowledge and techniques for handling clay material in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico.

Named The Clay Pavilion, the 140-square-metre pavilion was designed for the Casa Wabi Foundation to encourage, generate knowledge and new skills for children in the region. This is Álvaro Siza's first work built in Mexico.

Álvaro Siza's Clay Pavilion in Mexico promotes knowledge and techniques of clay material

The pavilion, featuring a thatched roof, is a new home for children who live in the area and provide a space to teach the local techniques of clay in Oaxaca. The pavilion also hosts local and world-renowned artists for the Casa Wabi's residency clay program.

Álvaro Siza's Clay Pavilion in Mexico promotes knowledge and techniques of clay material

"Casa Wabi's staff identified that teaching the technique and the process for handling clay would be a very positive tool for the community, since this is a technique that has been taught for generations," stated in a project description. 

Thanks to this initiative, the Casa Wabi Foundation invited acclaimed Alvaro Siza to design a pavilion for teaching the handling of this material.

Álvaro Siza's Clay Pavilion in Mexico promotes knowledge and techniques of clay material

The project is centered on a main "Palapa" (a building with a palm roof), where the modeling of the material is taught, and the pieces resulting from the workshops are exhibited, it also has storage, a sanitary building, and an oven. 

Álvaro Siza's Clay Pavilion in Mexico promotes knowledge and techniques of clay material

The entire program is contained within a brick wall in a half circle shape enclosing a patio for the clay oven. The main Palapa is 7m high, including a 6x2m apparent concrete table, ideal for manual work. 

Álvaro Siza's Clay Pavilion in Mexico promotes knowledge and techniques of clay material

The curved brick wall is eight meters in diameter, and jointly by another L-shaped wall is creates two rooms to store ceramic and clay tools.

Álvaro Siza's Clay Pavilion in Mexico promotes knowledge and techniques of clay material

The construction was made with annealed red bricks, these bricks have special measures, to be able to fulfill their structural work. A "palapa" covers the space and its shape resembles that of medieval structures made of wood in Europe.

Álvaro Siza's Clay Pavilion in Mexico promotes knowledge and techniques of clay material

Álvaro Siza's Clay Pavilion in Mexico promotes knowledge and techniques of clay material

Álvaro Siza's Clay Pavilion in Mexico promotes knowledge and techniques of clay material

Álvaro Siza's Clay Pavilion in Mexico promotes knowledge and techniques of clay material

Álvaro Siza's Clay Pavilion in Mexico promotes knowledge and techniques of clay material

Álvaro Siza's Clay Pavilion in Mexico promotes knowledge and techniques of clay material

Álvaro Siza's Clay Pavilion in Mexico promotes knowledge and techniques of clay material

Álvaro Siza's Clay Pavilion in Mexico promotes knowledge and techniques of clay material

Álvaro Siza's Clay Pavilion in Mexico promotes knowledge and techniques of clay material

Álvaro Siza's Clay Pavilion in Mexico promotes knowledge and techniques of clay material

Álvaro Siza's Clay Pavilion in Mexico promotes knowledge and techniques of clay material

Site plan

Álvaro Siza's Clay Pavilion in Mexico promotes knowledge and techniques of clay material

Axonometric drawing

Álvaro Siza's Clay Pavilion in Mexico promotes knowledge and techniques of clay material

Elevation

Kengo Kuma also designed a chicken coop made of burnt wooden boards in Mexico for the Casa Wabi Foundation. 

The Casa Wabi Foundation, established in 2014 by Mexican artist Bosco Sodi, is a non-profit, civil organization that aims to promote collaboration and social commitment through art. 

In 2016, Japanese architect Tadao Ando designed an arts centre for The Casa Wabi Foundation, while the complex is enhanced with other projects, like Clay Pavilion by the Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza, Guayacán Pavilion by Ambrosi Etchegaray and a Pavilion by Paraguayan studio Gabinete de Arquitectura

Project facts

Area: 140 m2

Architect: Alvaro Siza Viera.

Local architect: BAAQ’ / J. Alfonso Quiñones.

Architect Leader in Porto: Clemente Meineres.

BAAQ' Team: Inca Hernández, Itzae Carrasco, Alfonso Sodi.

Construction: Mario Conde.

Structural design: Alfonso Sodi.

Facilities: Heriberto Carmona.

Construction leader: José Ramírez.

Palapas: David Jiménez.

Carpentry: Javier Gomez.

Location: Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico.

All images © João Morgado

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