Montes Molina pavilion, Mérida


In the city of Mérida, in Yucatán Peninsula (Mexico), the firm Materia Arquitectónica — headed by Gustavo Carmona and Lisa Beltrán — is the author of the Quinta Montes Molina pavilion, silver medalist in the Cultura section of the 2nd Biennial of Architecture held in Mexico City. The work done on a late 19th-century construction involves providing a roof that can accommodate the various events of a center which currently serves only as a museum. Thirty-six columns are erected around the central plaza of some 1,000 square meters to hold up the concrete roof. These supports generate a U-shaped itinerary and create a connection between the garden, the plaza, and the main building. The geometry of the roof frames the sky of Mérida. The ceiling, no more than a thin sheet of concrete,  makes for a very strong presence of the empty space. In the same way, the solid and elegant character of the old house echoes with the white concrete, chosen precisely because of its resemblance to the material of the preexisting building and the facades of the city at large. In view of possible natural disasters, the pavilion is reinforced with an auxiliary steel structure.