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Competition: Mextrópoli Pavilion 2018, Mexico City

Arquine has opened its annual open international contest for a landmark $100,000 MXN temporary pavilion in Mexico City (Deadline: 12 January)

The Mexican research platform’s 20th annual competition seeks proposals for a recyclable and low-cost 150m2 building of any height, capable of hosting local information displays and providing a playful public space.

The winning scheme will be constructed in time for the fifth Mextrópoli International Festival of Architecture, being held in March next year in Mexico City. The Mextrópoli Pavilion structure may also be rebuilt for other future events, providing a recognisable forum for public engagement in art and design.

MEXTRÓPOLI Pavilion 2016 by Alan David Orozco Martínez

MEXTRÓPOLI Pavilion 2016 by Alan David Orozco Martínez

Source: Image by Moritz Bernoully

MEXTRÓPOLI Pavilion 2016 by Alan David Orozco Martínez

According to the brief: ‘The Mextrópoli 2018 Pavilion will become an active public space that promotes the reflection of fundamental themes for the city, a pavilion with a public vocation, that can be recyclable and reusable, that can be incorporated as a playful device, bearer of information and knowledge and activator of urban space.

‘Contestants must design a structure that meets the base conditions of this contest in terms of timing, costs and characteristics, considering as a fundamental part of the evaluation of the proposal, the ability to provoke and attract the audience.’

With a population of 20.5 million, Mexico City is the largest metropolitan area in the western hemisphere and one of the most important settlements in the Americas. The Mextrópoli festival aims to generate conversations between visitors and experts, promoting creativity, critical thinking and participation in order to generate new ideas about architecture and urban design in Mexico.

Since 1998 Arquine has hosted an international competition exploring issues relating to architecture and urbanisation in Mexico and encouraging greater dialogue with the public.

Architectural collective Alan David Orozco Martínez was chosen from 174 entries to win the 2016 commission. Its winning scheme comprised a long precast concrete table, and was constructed for the Mextrópoli earlier this year. Last year’s winner was A ROOM by the Italian architects Matteo Gidoni and Enrico Dussi.

MEXTRÓPOLI Pavilion 2016 by Alan David Orozco Martínez

MEXTRÓPOLI Pavilion 2016 by Alan David Orozco Martínez

Source: Image by Moritz Bernoully

MEXTRÓPOLI Pavilion 2016 by Alan David Orozco Martínez

Submissions should include a 60 x 90cm display board featuring conceptual diagrams, plans, layouts, sections and a 250-word project description in either English or Spanish.

The winning team, set to be announced on 18 January, will receive $100,000 MXN to deliver their scheme. There will also be a second prize of $50,000 MXN and a third prize of $25,000 MXN.

Construction of the winning scheme is due to commence in February and complete in time for the festival launch in March. There will also be a public exhibition of the prize-winning designs and honourable mentions in May.

How to apply

Deadline

The deadline for submissions is 12 January

Fee

$80 USD

Contact details

Arquine
Culiacán 123
Annex 1er Floor
Cologne Hippodrome Countess
Federal District
Mexico, 06170

Email: concurso@arquine.com
Tel: +52 55 5208 2289

View the competition website for more information

A Room case study: Q&A with Matteo Gidoni and Enrico Dussi

The winners of last year’s contest discuss lessons learned

How did you’re A ROOM project create a suitable pavilion for the annual Mextropoli festival?

Actually, we are not really sure if the pavilion fit the festival needs. One of the most interesting aspects of the competition brief was the kind of indeterminacy of the pavilion function(s). We had no idea about what kind of activities the structure was about to host. The brief only contained some information about the approximate size, a vague idea about its location, and the suggestion to use reversible building techniques, which we openly transgressed.

MEXTRÓPOLI Pavilion 2016 by Matteo Gidoni and Enrico Dussi

MEXTRÓPOLI Pavilion 2016 by Matteo Gidoni and Enrico Dussi

MEXTRÓPOLI Pavilion 2016 by Matteo Gidoni and Enrico Dussi

We didn’t want to be the subject that decides what to do in the pavilion, how to use it. We abstained ourselves from suggesting a programme and, in doing so, giving a functional connotation to the project. We rather decided to work on its intrinsic indifference, transforming the generic requests into a generous space. We hoped our pavilion would be at least vandalised, but this didn’t happen.

Which architectural, material, visual and other methods did you harness in your design?

We built a large model in scale 1:20. We asked a good photographer to take six pictures of it. We used these pictures as views of the project that could narrate the experience of its space, without the need to add the human presence. We tried to write a convincing text.

MEXTRÓPOLI Pavilion 2016 by Matteo Gidoni and Enrico Dussi

MEXTRÓPOLI Pavilion 2016 by Matteo Gidoni and Enrico Dussi

MEXTRÓPOLI Pavilion 2016 by Matteo Gidoni and Enrico Dussi

What advice would you have to contest participants on designing submissions for this year’s contest?

Be ambitious. If you win, be ready to absorb reality: the construction phase will be challenging but also surprisingly productive.

Q&A with Anna Adrià Reventós

The festival coordinator discusses her ambitions for the contest

Why are you holding a competition for a temporary pavilion in the historic centre of Mexico City?

The Arquine Competition has taken place since 1998 and seeks to explore issues of importance and relevance to society at large, encouraging the opening of spaces for dialogue and promoting the participation of the architect to certain issues through a projective response where promoting competition and national and international participation. Since MEXTRÓPOLI, Festival of Architecture and City was born, almost five years ago, we have been working on activating the public space in the historic centre of Mexico City. Merging the festival with our Arquine Competition has been a success. The idea is to build a temporary installation with the aim of becoming a benchmark, in each edition able to contribute to the festival themes for reflection and discussion on the architecture and the city.

Today it is necessary that architecture can express its power to transform the city. This pavilion as a temporary installation is an opportunity to explore the boundaries of the relation between architecture, city and citizens. We insist on an open, international competition, where people from any place can think about how to activate the public space through architecture. That is because many proposal are possible and the idea is that judges could choose from a huge range of projects.

MEXTRÓPOLI Pavilion 2016 by Matteo Gidoni and Enrico Dussi

MEXTRÓPOLI Pavilion 2016 by Matteo Gidoni and Enrico Dussi

MEXTRÓPOLI Pavilion 2016 by Matteo Gidoni and Enrico Dussi

What is your vision for the installation?

The competition calls for ideas for the development and construction of a social pavilion, recyclable and reusable. It follows recent natural disasters in Mexico, such as the September 7 earthquake with an epicentre on the coast of Chiapas, which was the largest in a century; and the earthquake of September 19 with an epicentre between Puebla and Morelos; without forgetting the damages caused by the hurricanes that have hit the coast of this country. The Arquine Competition No 20 will favour a pavilion that responds to all types of emergency situations. The proposal must be recyclable, removable and also replicable.

It will be placed at the Alameda Central in Mexico City, and the intervention area must not exceed 150m². The installation can be disposed freely within this range surface and there is no height limitation.

MEXTRÓPOLI Pavilion 2016 by Matteo Gidoni and Enrico Dussi

MEXTRÓPOLI Pavilion 2016 by Matteo Gidoni and Enrico Dussi

MEXTRÓPOLI Pavilion 2016 by Matteo Gidoni and Enrico Dussi

What sort of architects and designers are you hoping will apply?

The invitation is open to architects and architecture students all over the world and professionals or students from other disciplines. In the 20 years we have been running the competition, we have seen great projects from small practices and some of the winners of the Arquine Competition have become great and renowned architects in Mexico and other places. For example, Kersten Geers and David Van Severen from OFFICCE in Belgium won an Arquine Competition in 2005, Paisajes Emergentes from Colombia won in 2009. Last year, Matteo Ghidoni from Saluttobuono and Enrico Dusi won. As the proposals are anonymous, it allows us to find emerging practices around the world, giving the opportunity to the young people to work in an international competition that could be the beginning of their career.

The competition is to build a pavilion in the public space in the benchmark of MEXTRÓPOLI, Architecture and City Festival, so the exposure increases exponentially. Not only because of the media exposure but through the 55,000 people that come to our event and enjoy the installation, and the one million people that pass through the Alameda Central (where the pavilion is located during the festival) during the weekend.