ZOH LAGUNA CHAPEL
2014 - ...
Location: Zoh Laguna, Campeche, Mexico
Project status: ongoing, searching for funds
Renders by Pedro Lechuga
What started as a bachelor thesis and social service at the university of UNAM, developed into a real social project together with the inhabitants of an old town on a lagoon in the province of Campeche. Zoh laguna is a town with less than 1000 inhabitants, located in the heart of the biotope reserve of Calakmul in Campeche. The town has its origins since the first half of the 20th century as a wooden camp, because of the development peak of the precious wood of this area.
Since the beginning, the community wanted to have a project that could be built. Their old wooden chapel is falling apart and the original commission is to restore it. The original chapel carries severe problems of natural ventilation, illumination and humidity. Due to the fact that they wanted more capacity for the building, a new priest house and catechism classrooms, Escobedo Soliz decided to reinterpret the program that was given to them and designed a complex that also offers other activities and that serves not only as a religious complex but also as a cultural center from which the whole community can have benefits. The two volumes in the master plan articulate a square that functions as a public polyvalent space. Both volumes are oriented in a way that they receive the most natural light, depending on each activity, and crossed ventilation from the prevailing winds during the whole year.
The two buildings are composed by a structure of modular wooden frames. The roof plays an important factor in the regulation of the temperature and the light of the different interior spaces. The project has a system of collecting and storing rainwater that allows being 100% sustainable in the consumption of the water during the year. All the walls are made of recycled wood. To build the master plan there are materials and constructive systems of the region used, so that the inhabitants themselves can build it easily in a fast and economic way. The important aim of the proposal is to integrate the community in the whole development of the project through reviews and presentations in which we showed the process and in which they can share their observations and feedback. The inhabitants of the town have approved the project and now we are searching for funds to be able to start the construction, together with the help of UNAM and the community.
In October 2014, Escobedo Soliz won the Holcim Awards "Next Generation" 2nd prize 2014 Latin America with the Zoh Laguna Chapel. Click here to read more about it.
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