NewsWorldOrganic architecture, a return to nature that is a...

Organic architecture, a return to nature that is a trend in Mexico by Javier Senosiain

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The return to nature and cultural roots with Javier Senosian 3:23 (CNN Spanish) — The Quetzalcóatl, the feathered serpent worshiped by the Mexicas, takes shape in an architectural work by Javier Senosiain built near Mexico City that, in addition having already become an icon, it shows the return to nature and the roots proposed by organic architecture, a trend that is making its way into this new era of society. Organic architecture “seeks harmony between the habitat of man and the natural world,” Senosiain tells CNN en Español, who for decades has dedicated himself to creating constructions that integrate, instead of ignoring or modifying, two key conditioning factors of the places that intervenes: the geographical ones —the orientation, the topography, the landscape— and the cultural ones. Or, put another way, identity, which is especially fundamental in Mexico. The key to organic architecture is in nature. “Man’s contact with nature has always existed. However, in recent years more nature has been destroyed than in the previous 500,000 years,” says Senosiain. The pandemic, however, has given us a strong shake and now, many of us are more aware of the importance of nature in our lives. The Nest of Quetzalcóatl is perhaps the most iconic example of this architecture. It is a group of accommodation located in Naucalpan, just half an hour from Mexico City, where there is no trace of the city’s pollution. Senosiain says even more: “Being inside this ravine, one is outside the world, outside civilization.” A freer and more spontaneous architecture In an area of ​​5,000 square meters, Senosiain intervened only about 5% to create a structure that refers to the mythical Quetzalcóatl and that houses 10 apartments. The snake fits perfectly into a landscape dominated by green and crossed by ravines. From time to time it is inserted and from time to time it blends in, two techniques that coexist in this construction made of ferrocement where, according to the architect, there is a lot of craftsmanship, a lot of ornament, especially in the tail and head of the snake. It is also a place where the vegetation achieves a humidity of between 30% and 60%, a help in a land as dry as that of Mexico. And where the water discarded by the houses goes to a treatment plant and then to the water mirror to irrigate the vegetation. Organic architecture, according to Senosiain, is characterized by being freer, more spontaneous than traditional architecture. There is a project, but at the same time there are issues that are resolved on the ground, including difficulties that may arise with the materials and must be remedied. The search for curved spaces A feature characterizes Senosiain’s work: the search for curved spaces. And it does so in a world where people “go from box to box throughout our lives”: the incubator, the cradle, the playpen, the multiple boxes that make up our houses and, at the end of our lives, the box where we they bury However, he says, nature is full of curves. “The straight line hardly exists in nature, the horizon is curved, gravity in motion curves. Everything spirals from the microcosm to the macrocosm, from the DNA molecules seen in the microscope to the large galaxies,” he exemplifies. . And for him curved spaces are “warmer”. In fact, he explains, there is an analogy between this type of space and the place of shelter par excellence: the womb. Color is another key. “Colour is life, said Gaudí. The absence of color is death”, sums up the architect. And it is a very important dimension in countries like Mexico, which is recognized for its plastic with heavy volume and color. Where is architecture advancing in Mexico? “I think that architecture in Mexico is changing,” says Senosiain. He remembers that until a few years ago “it was very universal, very functionalist, very international”: the same thing was done as in other countries. However, he affirms, this is changing from the current ecological awareness that, for example, makes there is a tendency to use available natural materials. Senosiain also highlights the changes taking place in architecture schools. “For many years, young students told me ‘I start to do a curved project and the teacher tells me ‘no, what material are you going to use? It’s not going to be resistant, it’s going to be very expensive’. And always buts were put to them. And yet I think that in architecture schools that is changing, “he explains.

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