Estudio Macías Peredo

Magui Peredo and Salvador Macías, untitled, 2013, mixed media. Installation view, Museo Experimental El Eco, Mexico City. Photo: Alex Dorfsman.

Guadalajara, Mexico–based architects Magui Peredo and Salvador Macías of Estudio Macías Peredo recently won a competition for the Pabellón Eco 2013 at the Museo Experimental El Eco in Mexico City. The spatial and aesthetic configuration of the winning entry not only expands the concept of what a pavilion could be, but also reevaluates the function of the museum’s courtyard. Here Peredo and Macías speak about their intentions for this work and their interest in architectural integration. The pavilion is on view until May 26, 2013.

WE’VE ULTIMATELY UNDERSTOOD this proposal as the placement of another diagonal in the museum’s courtyard. The effect that this new slanted flooring, which steadily rises from El Eco’s floor-to-ceiling back window to meet the higher level of the abutting street, has on the exterior space is clear: The courtyard ceases to be static and restricted and instead houses an active plane, one that can be traversed throughout, connecting what is happening on the inside of the museum to what is occurring on the outside. From the street, the slope becomes a forum that looks straight into the museum’s main gallery, where the latest installation of Mexican artist Abraham Cruzvillegas can be seen—another structural intervention that transforms the otherwise pristine interior into a chaotic construction site.

One night, when we initially began drafting our concept for the exterior, we noticed that the courtyard was quite crowded with visitors. We began to realize that the work could not hinder the events that took place there. The visitor had to become an integral part of the project, able to cross it and engage it in different ways. Earlier chosen projects dealt with the space’s topography, its roof and its walls, and as such seemed to close it off in a circle that encompassed the vertical and horizontal limits of the courtyard. We’ve tried to open it up to show the museum as a public space, transforming what was already there. It literally gives rise to another way of understanding the museum in situ.

Artist Mathias Goeritz, the founder of El Eco, once described architecture as emotional, and as a spatial experiment that attempts to discover emotions one can move in. In essence, that is what we’ve tried to do. Our approach to this project disregarded the construction of volume, as most pavilions aim to create. We wondered if we could make the lines between the street and the museum vanish, to go beyond the limits of volume. For Goeritz, a critical aspect of the museum was its diagonal walls and distorted flooring. We appropriated the original terra-cotta grid of the courtyard, and even the trees, activities, and the visitors themselves, to create a dynamic and dissolved window between two worlds. The pavilion never became an exercise in composition; for us, it simply became one of reflection.

Translated from Spanish by Jane Brodie.