Laguna inhabits a former thread and lace factory in a building from the 1920s. It is located in one of the oldest neighborhoods of Mexico City, La Doctores, known for its workshops, storage and repair shops. The project began in 2018, with the idea to redefine the role of the factory within the contemporary context of the city, whilst maintaining its productive vocation. Laguna is a collaborative space for on-site production, housing a diversity of hand-made craft workshops, art, architecture and design studios, artist’s residencies, art galleries, as well as, cultural and social events open to the public.
Laguna has slowly been building a community with the local neighborhood, its visitors and in-house residents where the dissemination of knowledge, exchange of ideas, collaboration and creativity unquestionably happens naturally.
The masterplan, intellectually conceived by Alberto Kritzler, developed by the architecture firm PRODUCTORA and revolutionized by everyone involved, has time as one of its main principles. There is no hurry or need to get it done, it pauses and observes, it learns, it evolves step by step and allows for modifications. However, when we first came to the project the need was urgent. The major art event of the city, Art Week, which brings thousands of people was approaching and Laguna was going to be a part of it. The challenge was to organize and complement the existing vegetation of Laguna, each one belonging to a group or person from the community, as fast as possible and with a limited budget.
Our approach was to observe Laguna beyond the walls of the building and its social fabric. We began by understanding it as a fragment of the greater landscape, with its historic dry vegetation and lake. We brought a landscape, inspired by the forest of the Mexico’s basin, that places in the former factory pieces of the countryside that surround us. Common Landscape is an intervention project to unify its existing ecosystem, considering the care each person brought to their potted plants and the interest of the cat resident. Fruit trees and medicinal plants complement the endemic palette, adapting to a realistic transformation of our natural landscape and enhancing the diversity Laguna pushes for. Some of the photographs show the project the days following the planting. Others were taken a year later, when Hummingbird sage flowers had invited the birds to the factory and climbers had spread along the old building its purple flowers.
Common Landscape is a project that continues to follow Laguna’s transformation, meaning new steps of pocket ecosystems are being planted each year in different courtyards, levels and rooftops.
Architecture offices involved in the design: PRODUCTORA
Location: Dr. Lucio 181, Doctores, Cuauhtémoc, 06720, Mexico City, Mexico
Design year: 2022
Year Completed: 2022