Dreams of Fiber/timber, Earth, and Concrete: Mexico City in the Past and in the Future

Mextrópoli Architecture - Building Material Reporter

An architectural installation called Dreams of Fiber/Timber, Earth, Concrete was featured in the Mextrópoli Architecture and City Festival between September 21-25, 2022. Through the use of four materials, the installation presents stories from Mexico City's past and present. By utilizing the materials, we are reinterpreting tradition, imagining creative possibilities, and adapting history. Visitors were invited to recall the city's history through the installation.


Mextrópoli Architecture - Building Material Reporter

Mextrópoli Architecture - Building Material Reporter


Firstly, there is "Dreams of Fiber/Timber," which reflects on the past and future of Mexico City. La Feria's Montana Rusa and pavilion were constructed using wood materials from the city's iconic rollercoaster, papel picado, also known as perforated paper or pecked paper. It was an invitation to the ancestors to pass on to the present. The Montana Rusa remained open until 2019 and is remembered by millions of people around the world. This roller coaster captured the era of massive socio-economic changes and civic infrastructure development in Mexico City, similar to other large-scale urban projects built during the same decade. This pavilion is located on the corner of the historic Plaza de la Alameda, creating a new urban space for meeting and reflection. Through dialogues with the Otomi artisans who make the amate paper for the pavilion, the pavilion's lighting design activates the space at night.


Dreams of Earth/Concrete, the second pavilion, explored Mexico's affordable housing future. Echale, a social enterprise based in Mexico that offers housing solutions through the integrated development of communities, partnered with New Story to implement the pavilion. New Story pioneers solutions to end global homelessness.


Mextrópoli Architecture - Building Material Reporter


Three-dimensional ceramic vaults are used to create Dreams of Earth, which are created in CDMX using local materials. The upper compression slab is formed by these forms placed between precast concrete beams. Using 3D printing, custom ceramic vaults can be mass-produced according to the materials available. A traditional clay and firing process has been used to produce the blocks in collaboration with local ceramic manufacturers. In order to minimize material consumption and manufacturing time, the blocks are lightweight and optimized. Researchers at MIT developed computational design methods to achieve the elegant geometry created by sections of varying widths and depths. In order to manufacture it, fiberglass molds are used, which allow multiple casting cycles. Using local construction techniques and digital manufacturing technologies, Dreams of Concrete creates a pavilion that combines industry, social enterprise, and academia for a more sustainable built environment.


Mextrópoli Architecture - Building Material Reporter


Mextrópoli Architecture - Building Material Reporter


Project Info


Mota-Engil Group
Project team: Onesimo Flores, Sergio Haua, Ivar Castillo, Jorge Cerrilla, Oscar Vera, Gemi González


MIT Norman B. Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism

Director: Sarah Williams.
Project Team: Alberto Meouchi, Jariyaporn Prachasarta, Doris Qingyi Duanmu, Niko McGlashan, Deni López, Illana Strauss and Enrique Casillas. Construction: The Invincible. Research and Design of Dream Tickets: Claudia Ortiz Chao, Maria Moreno, Carina Arvizu, Carlos Flores and Santiago Fernandez
MIT Digital Structures

Director: Caitlin Mueller.
Project Team: Edu Gascón, Tim Cousin, Mohamed Ismail, Sandy Curth, Kiley Feickert, Leslie Norford.
In Collaboration With: ECHALE, New Story, Manufactura, Anfora Studio, Fiberglass Forms.


MIT Future Urban Collectives and Collaborating Artist Marisa Morán Jahn

Director: Rafi Segal.
Collaborating artist: Marisa Morán Jahn.
Project Team: Maria Rius Ruiz- NUA arquitectures, Patricia Dueñas Gerritsen, Jungmin Lee, Karla Mejias. Structural Engineering: Caitlin Mueller, Edu Gascón, Tim Cousin. Construction: Mextropoli/The Invincible



Project Team: Francesco Piazzesi, Gretel Uribe Campos, Eduardo Piedrola, Eduardo Banda, Fernanda Herrejón, Javier Velasco, Gustavo García. 


New Story

Project Team: Victor Mendoza, Sandra Prieto



Co-Founders:  Dinorah Martínez Schulte, Edurne Morales, Eduardo Barba, Elena Fierro
Project Director: Dinorah Martínez Schulte
Project Team: Aleida Rahel Merkel, Ivan Ramos, Jared Zarate, Irma Valdes, Jorge Orduna 


Anfora Studio

Project Team: Saul Rivera, Sofia Priscila, Sara Flores, Amaury De La Rosa, Polette Guerrero 


Fiberglass Shapes

Project Team: Jacinto Hernández Espindola


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