@Mextropoli Festival (1st Prize)
"La comida, más que las especulaciones místicas, es una manera segura de acercarse a un pueblo y a su cultura" Octavio Paz.
Alameda Central, once an Aztec marketplace, today becomes the context for the Gastronomic Palapa: a temporary polysemic place a public chillies dryer a cathedral of sounds and colours a convivial collective mesa
Octavio Paz describes how through the art of cooking we can talk about cultural identity. What we eat and how we relate to the food and resources we have today defines a cultural and historical debate. Completely made by Chiles Secos, the triangular-shaped dryer is constructed with a series of wooden arches forming an inverted thatched roof that acts as a communal palapa.
3500 bunches of chillies become the main elements to inform the materiality of the pavilion. They’re attached progressively to each wooden arch, creating a colourful sequence to walk through. The lowest entrance is at 2.50m from the ground, while the peak is at 6.5 m. The pavilion covers an area of 108sqm2.
The chillies knotted together define a variegated cloister where glimmers of light draw shadows on the ground made of recycled clay tiles, inviting the visitor to smells and colours in contrast with the jacaranda trees. Guajillo, Pasilla, Puya, Arbol chillies will be hung inside of the pavilion, safe from birds, but hot enough to dry throughout the days of Mextropoli2020.
The audience will participate in the drying process from arranging the chillies in green bunches, to observing them slowly turning into a bright red colour during the exsiccation. The last day, the pavilion will be deconstructed directly by the public who wish to take a bunch back home. Throughout the days, the chilli will become brittle to touch and their seeds will be heard inside when shaken.
The sheltered space communicates to the exuberant Alameda through a series of tables. La Mesa as a medium to connect interior and exterior, providing a fertile ground for spontaneous gatherings. Gastronomic palapa is an architecture to be bodily consumed.
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