architect: Pascal Arquitectos
location: Mexico City
This is a project with very strong emotional implications. We had to understand the mood of the user, who at such this moment would not care very much for an aesthetical analisis of any place, but at the same time we wanted to create a space that can create a spritual mood, for this we refered to ancient buidings that were designed for this purpose, as the Egiptian “Mastabas” or some Mayan buildings in Palenque. A project of this nature must encourage introspection and peaceful visual harmony through a discrete use of materials and lighting. The construction is located in a residential area and being planned as an isolated construction from the sorroundings, an indoor illuminated yard was built. The building façade is completely covered by Grissal flamed granite.
The building welcomes de visitor with a 6´4” wide and 30´ high triangular shaped wooden door which leads to an access tunnel in the same shape, creating a solemn atmosphere as you enter. This darkening experience at the entrance ends when the hallway opens to a large, double height granite hall illuminated by the northern light coming from the indoor courtyard with a tall Dracaena at the center and a symbolical abstract sculpture by artist Saul Kaminer as the only artwork piece for decoration. No furniture was used inside this place,only a floating bench surrounding the room, that is made out of the same wood used in all the building. It also serves to hide all of the air conditioning, speakers and recesed lighting which adds a dramatical touch. This way the rooms shows no added ornament but the light and shades playing on the granite volumes.The ceiling is made of dark cumaru wood and floats without touching any wall and a skylight puts a highlight on this detail.
The identity that supports the work developed by the firm, with headquarters in Mexico City since 1979, comes as a result from the fact that there is not an ulterior ideology norming the form, the language or the materials used; the team work is aside from unique discourses ascribed to any project. For Pascal Arquitectos each practice, each work is the outcome of particular and determining factors such as available resources, social or location context, everything is exhaustively analized. The commitment is at the same time with the client and the final user, as well with the environment and the city. All the above is based upon an unique research process and experimentation using new materials and technologies.
The atelier comprises a polyfunctional group whose development does not depends on typology specialization that can become creativity and innovation restraint. For this reason at Pascal all kind of projects are produced: residential, corporate, contract and hospitality, temples or ritual spaces besides developing – depending on each particular case, the architecture, the interior and furniture design up to the lighting and landscape design too. Amongst the more representative are the Sheraton “Centro Histórico” hotel, located in front of the Alameda Central; and Meditation House, in Bosques de las Lomas, that has been worldwide recognized with numerous awards.