In 2009 on the 50th anniversary of the Sateilte towers designed by Luis Barragan and Mathias Goeritz, Arquine organized an international competition named FARO in order to save the Mexican landmark from a proposed second storey to the existing highway.
Arquine: “ This call for new ideas proposes to depress the lateral circulation along the east of the towers and generate a pedestrian connection with Ciudad Satelite, extending the plaza and installing a parking area for 50 vehicles underneath the extension.”
The brief: FARO (Arts and Crafts Factory) of Satelite dedicated to the production/promotion of: -Pop & rock music -Graffiti workshops -Recording studios, classrooms, Audio booth, Vide booth, open air auditorium, graffiti workshop, cafeteria, restrooms, administrative offices, storeroom
Our proposal: The towers sit in a little plaza in the middle of the highway like a little island.
The site analysis revealed an extreme amount of noise, pollution, and chaos overall. There is not a proper connection between the commercial and residential areas in satellite city (the site); a constant and aggressive movement fragments the site. It was essential to reorganize the trajectories of these entities (cars, people, noise) in order to generate a link between them.
The strategy to achieve this connection is by making an underground tunnel that will allow the existing highway to go under and will isolate the extreme noise.
At the same time, above ground, the idea is to extend the current plaza by the satellite towers adding a botanical garden that will articulate the Naucalli Park, the proposed faro building and proposed commercial strip.
In order to activate the plaza by the satellite towers it was not enough to only have linked the plaza on one side of the highway as called by the brief but rather it was imminent to create a real impact by solving the urban problems in a global manner, linking both sides of the freeway thus solving the fragmentation on the site.
The Faro building is planned as an urban sculpture where its walls work as canvasses for the graffiti students. Its plasticity functions as the towers do and depending on the angle one views the building its perspective will seem to have change. The building is stacked forming an auditorium in its upper part and housing the graffiti and music school under it open to a semi private garden. We moved the FARO building to the left of the towers and near the commercial areas and on the proposed site instead we were able to create a strip mall to service the residential area adjacent and also to really activate this new urban space.
August 6, 2019