Thaler Mauricio Rocha Expands the Diego Rivera Museum of Anahuacale

Mexican studio Taller Mauricio Rocha He expanded the Anahuacalli Museum in Mexico CityOriginally designed by artist Diego Rivera and architect Juan O’Gorman.

Due to the increase in its activities, the Anahuakali Museum She decided to expand her footprint in the adjacent park, adding additional structures to the original buildings designed by Rivera and O’Gorman.

Taller Mauricio Rocha has expanded the Anahuacalli Museum in Mexico City

Taller Mauricio Rocha Three buildings hovering above the volcanic ground of San Angel, a neighborhood in southern Mexico City, added a patio and walkway that connect the new structures to the original facility.

All of the structures added by the studio are low – similar in height to the other museum buildings, except for the main castle-like structure that once housed Rivera’s studio.

Mauricio Rocha anahuacalli extension
The design takes cues from the original Diego Rivera structures

“The realization of the extension implies an open dialogue with the pre-existing architecture with contemporary interpretation and the great challenge of building in the ecological reserve, which is one of the few examples in which its ecosystem has not been altered,” the studio said.

“The intervention succeeds in being a linker rather than an aggressor.”

Cantilevered stone building Mauricio Rocha
Three buildings have been expanded into an adjacent park

The museum’s original design placed the buildings around an open plaza.

The three Taller Mauricio Rocha buildings are located on the west side of the property and include a storage building, workshop and offices.

New Patio of the Anahuacalli Extension
A patio and corridor have been added

With volcanic bases that anchor the above-ground structures, each building opens onto a new patio.

The warehouse – which doubles as a performance space – and the workshop are both square in shape, while the office building is tall and extends away from the original courtyard.

Mauricio Rocha anahuacalli extension
The outer parts were covered with a stone net

The base of the buildings is covered with volcanic stone, similar to the original structures, but the one-story habitable levels are covered with dark openings that open the spaces to the natural environment, enhanced by a series of gardens placed around the structures.

At certain points, the voids below the cantilevered structures create semi-enclosed shaded courtyards.

Mauricio Rocha anahuacalli Extension Drawer
Structures hovering over the landscape

Two of the buildings contain voids that are designed to open the program. These spaces were also filled with plants and served as “outdoor workshops,” according to Thaler Mauricio Rocha.

“The buildings are recessed at their base to minimize the impact on the landscape, and the physical significance of the new buildings with concrete slabs and volcanic stone at their base,” the studio said.

The outer walls were mechanically cut and the floors and ceilings made of concrete. Dark wooden stripes on some interior corridors were also used in the manufacture of doors.

Mauricio Rocha anahuacalli extension
Concrete floors meet stone walls

The materials used by Taller Mauricio Rocha continue the dark volcanic palette of the original structures but have a more open program than the densely packed stone in the originals.

As part of the project, select renovations of the existing buildings were also carried out by the studio.

Stone lattice and inner courtyard
I left parts of the program open

The old warehouse was converted into a maintenance area, the administrative areas were turned into a cafeteria and shop, and the studio created animation and other improvements for the gallery.

Rivera began work on the museum in the 1950s, designing and supervising the construction of the main building before his death in 1957. After his death, architect O’Gorman and Rivera’s daughter Roth supervised the construction of the additional buildings.

Before Taller Mauricio Rocha’s intervention, thousands of pre-Hispanic artworks collected by Rivera during his lifetime were stored away, but new buildings allow many of these pieces to be seen by the public.

“The Anahuacali Museum is a venue that offers a large public space as well as displaying the late period of Diego Rivera and the collection of pre-Hispanic pieces that he donated to the people of Mexico,” the studio said.

The space under the buildings of the anahuacalli extension
Space left under some buildings

Other works that combine old and new in Mexico include Progreso Museum of Geology in Estudio MMXwhich uses Mayan building techniques and materials in a modern context.

Photography by Rafael Jammu.

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