Urban intervention

February 1st, 2017 / By: / Projects

PlayAchomo’s colorful ribbon canopy is a stark contrast to its surroundings, creating a natural draw to this public space. Photo: Taller KEN.
PlayAchomo’s colorful ribbon canopy is a stark
contrast to its surroundings, creating a natural draw to this public space. Photo: Taller KEN.

The Centro Cultural Miguel Angel Asturias (CCMAA) is a sprawling, stunning cultural center in the heart of Guatemala City. A section of the complex’s public space was ripe for rejuvenation, which is where Taller KEN, a young architectural firm based in Guatemala City and New York, comes in.

Known for design that is modern and playful, while being socially and culturally relevant, Taller KEN wanted to offer aspiring architects the opportunity to put their talents and studies to work on a design-build project. The firm assembled a team of young designers from around the world for an internship program called FUNdaMENTAL.

The group’s project, called playAchomo, was essentially an “urban intervention” for an outdoor section of the CCMAA that had suffered years of neglect. The goal was to create a new public space that would reconnect the city to the cultural center, stimulating public interest through architecture.

To bring the outdoor space back to life, the students constructed a grand new entrance and public plaza, consisting of a large canopy that houses new cultural activities and provides a resting place for visitors. Colorful fabric ribbons stretched across the space to form the canopy. An experiential path, also made of ribbons in a frame, now connects the street to the cultural center.

The students were able to work worldwide with the aid of digital tools, and were involved in all aspects of the operation including planning, construction, fundraising and documentation for publication. For further details, visit www.facebook.com/fundamentalk.

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