Inhabitable sculpture
@Neuchatel Competition

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Inhabitable sculpture

@Neuchatel Competition

Mexico City,


Ten meters high, Tribal Candela is a form of permanent ars topiaria, an habitable metal sculpture, covered with the purple flowers of jacaranda trees which help to mitigate the environmental pollution and introduce buffering microclimatic variations in the city by nature.

Among the crowded streets, tribal candela becomes a shaded space to hide from the chaotic noise of the city. An urban soft canopy which resembles the thin shells, popularly known as cascarones, designed by Felix Candela.

The curve that rises upwards becomes a point of reference and meeting place - a spatial and sensorial experience through strong colours and smells. It is an architecture that makes you want to look up, through the opening cone to the sky.

Tribal candela invites you in, capturing your gaze in ordinary moments: from the outside it moves as if it was breathing, the leaves change color and are shaken by the wind, catching the viewer’s eye - framing the environment and the sky around

Tribal candela is a piece of work which becomes interactive through the users moving throughout the piece, changing character depending on the needs of the people. A space for the community to be used yet intimate and unique.

Once you enter, the sound of the frenetic city outside is muffled. You can use the space as a moment of peace, of play, of conversation or waiting. Tribal Candela is also a platform for observing people wandering from one sidewalk to another, shops opening and closing, cars and street vendors. A platform to observe daily rituals in Mexico city. A place to enhance everyday life; in a space that changes and evolves daily, where the users are the main protagonists.

The petals of the vaulted dome are constructed with a reticular steel structure, cladded with colourful and crafted textiles. The dome supports an actual topiary piece made of thin steel cage which lets the jacaranda flowers grow naturally through time.

Designed by



Federico Fauli


Federico Fauli

Diego Ariza