There’s no better way to bring a community together than with a neighborhood revitalization project. PKMN Architectures led one such event to create the Urban Spa, a temporary installation made of scaffolding and pallets that revamped a disused fountain in Chihuahua’s Urueta Park. The pop-up architecture was created as part of the annual Taller del Desierto, a workshop organized by the Instituto Superior de Arquitectura de Chihuahua (ISAD) every summer.
Centrally located in the city of Chihuahua, Urueta Park comprises two separate areas: a sports area and small woodland that are joined by a century alley. The objective of this year’s Taller del Desierto workshop was to build an installation in the park, the location and purpose of which was up to workshop participants. While the charrettes produced a series of sketches for a variety of future park amenities, most of the residents voiced their desire to reactivate the park’s fountain, a centrally located water source that served as the heart of the park but had been broken for years.
The design/build process took two weeks, starting with a one-week design charrette that developed the Urban Spa concept, a pop-up amenity focused on water recreation. Workshop volunteers used wood pallets to transform the fountain base into a bathing deck and added pallet furniture, steps, garden beds, and a ramp for accessibility. Scaffolding units were installed around the fountain to support textile shades, hammocks, and resting platforms. The workshop successfully reached out to the city council to fix the source pump and fill the fountain with water. “Urban SPA is born as an unique proposal but at the same time it’s being reconsidered as an alternative for the reactivation of unused water sources in the city of Chihuahua. Maybe also in other cities,” wrote PKMN.
In addition to local residents, the Taller del Desierto charrettes brought together many different groups including: university students and staff; the social work civil association Impulsando Capacidades; and A+bien, an association that sponsored the use of 40 scaffolding units, dozens of wood pallets, shading mesh, and paint. The Urban Spa will stay in place until the end of September. The university is currently raising money to make the installation permanent.
Images via PKMN Architectures