The site is in Chapultepec, the most important park of Mexico City. This part of the forest belongs to the Federal Government and was under the custody of the Secretariat of National Defense for many decades, so, first of all, the memorial project means the recuperation of 15,000 square meters of public space.
In this project, we give material form to one of the most important issues of contemporary Mexican society: violence. In response to this, we propose an open project, open to the city and open to appropriation by its citizens: a space that exists in a state of complete openness to the city and its actors.
In this manner, the project plays the double role of public space and memorial. Violence is suggested in the proposal in two dimensions: the immaterial and the built. On one hand, the immaterial takes place in the the voids created between the steel walls and the trees. These voids evoke the non-presence and the absence of the victims. On the other hand, the surfaces of the steel walls, rusty or mirroring, show that we can be contained or lost, and that we can add or multiply ourselves. Thus, if we understand violence as destruction, building these seventy walls play as the great antidote to violence. The sevety walls that appear among the trees, set off a dialogue between nature and architecture: forest of trees and forest of walls.
In the central space, which is the main space of the memorial, there is a 1,200-square-meter reflecting pool with an undetermined form and open geometry. It is open and undetermined like the rest of the project: an unfinished form that fuses materials. It is here that the walls emerge arresting and dramatic, shapes appear in the reflecting pools, drawing the eye to the sky and the water, elements that are natural and infinite. The seventy steel walls become mirrors or canvasses. In them, the citizen may see his reflection as well as the forests’ and will also be able to write, draw and express his feelings.
Conceptual Design, Architectural Project, Architectural Supervision
Julio Gaeta / Luby Springall / Ricardo López (Arquitecto Asociado)
Jesica Amescua, Brenda Ceja, Liliana Ramirez, Guillermo Ramirez, Edgar Martinez, Christian Ortega, Carlos Verón, Aldo Urban, Daniela Dávila, Miguel Marquez, José Luis Martinez, Paulina de Luna, Iohanna Kuppers, Jorge Torres, Paolo Gonzalez, Rogelio Rodriguez, Juan Verón. Fotografías: Sandra Pereznieto, Christian Ortega, Luby Springall, Daniel Jaimes.