Music House by Colectivo C733 brings culturally important music and festivities to Nacajuca´s, Mexico daily life. Through the Mesoamerican-rooted “pocho” dance and contemporary programming, this new sustainable building repurposes the foundation of an old building to offer a community center for local gatherings.

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A pointed roof of a wooden structure

The new Music House Community Center features wood pitched roofs and an open floor plan of 32 by 24 meters. There are large glass pane windows, stacked atop cellars, restrooms and a kitchen for special events. This leaves the upper floor for workshops or a stage for local musicians to play events.

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Two wooden structures for learning and community

Next door to the community center and built in the same style is a smaller music school, hedged by a public boulevard between the buildings. The designers say the walls are aligned to the rhythm of the pre-existing structure of the center in such a way that when all its doors are opened, it is possible to look through the entire complex in a cross direction.

A pathway between two wooden structures

Moreover, the Music School has eight classrooms, a cafeteria, restrooms and offices. The single pitch high slope of the roof makes each of these spaces double height with an upper terrace for viewing the trees. The building fronts on a polluted creek. It is also the first building in Nacajuca that discharges clean water into the river through a series of treatment wetlands.

A wooden outdoor pathway that could also double as a balcony area

Wide, well-ventilated walkways were built around the facility with local coconut wood. Meanwhile, partitions and clay tiles transfer warmth absorbed from the sun, fresh air and good acoustics for the music school. Inside, a vast open space and high ceiling is used for acoustic purposes as well as ventilation.

An indoor wooden classroom with people playing on xylophones facing each other

This is a project of SEDATU (Secretaria de Desarrollo Agrario Territorial y Urbano) of the Federal Government, as part of the PMU (Programa de Mejoramiento Urbano) to attend to socially vulnerable areas in the country. Architects wanted to reflect the history of the building and the area while creating a new gathering space with resources for the community.

An open gathering space with a pointed roof

As a result, the building captures and filters rainwater for use in the restrooms, after which it passes through a system of biodigesters and biofilters in the wetlands before flowing out to the river. The coconut wood for this project is also sustainable, because it is an abundant renewable resource in this area and during the wood’s lifetime it captures a large amount of CO2. This means the choice of these materials help reduce carbon emissions of the project overall, while also helping support employment of local labor.

+ Colectivo C733

Images via Yoshihiro Koitani