HIPODROMO CONDESA, MEXICO CITY, 2016
Men have developed prosthetics generally for two purposes: the first, to correct the function of a damaged organ; the second to enhance the capability of an organ. For example, the glasses that an optician prescribes are corrective prosthetics which enable the wearer to recover 20/20 vision. In contrast, the telescope or microscope extend the capabilities of the eye. Such apparatus allow the user to see things so microscopic and so far away which would otherwise be invisible to the naked eye.
The architectural project developed for the refurbishment of the apartment in the Condesa district of Mexico City blurs the lines with regard to binary distinction. The name “ensayo” or “trial” in itself is literally a reference to the fact that the approach to the project would not be a simplistic one, but an approach from different angles. One might say, that the space is literally wrapped in order to discover its space potential. A finely detailed wooden structure was assembled in the space according to the same logic as scaffolding in order to extend the original function of the space. In certain areas, the scaffold includes numerous stairs while in others it is necessary to sustain a raised platform or mezzanine, itself equipped with shelving allowing for the creation of a library. From here, the scaffold extends into the patio creating a natural service passage and finally embracing the patio wall and creating a vertical garden.
In other words, the architects have woven scaffolding which rises, turns, twists, fills, empties and is ultimately populated with plants achieving the desired aim of making use of wasted space in the apartment. The scaffold combines interior with exterior, it connects different levels, it thickens where privacy is required and opens where transparency is desired.
The Dutch artist Constant’s “New Babilonia” project offered users a scaffold structure in order to adapt the living space, while the architects simultaneously achieve what one might consider to be a corrective and enhancing prosthesis. Corrective in the sense that it generates connections between dead spaces and enhancing in that the structure is equipped to allow for sitting, storing and planting even though it is primarily designed to be a support.
Ivan Hernandez Quintela
Fotografia: Jaime Navarro