Mexico City & Las Pozas, Xilitla
We revisited modern precedents of abstract architecture through the production of a series of 1:1 concrete interventions in the Mexican jungle. The workshop was based in Edward James’ surrealist garden in Xilitla and explored the formwork techniques developed by him and his workers on the site.
The course learnt from Mexico’s rich cultural heritage, from Modernism back to pre-hispanic architecture, as well as looking at relevant examples of experimental architecture and sculpture, with a particular focus on experiments in concrete.
Beginning with a thorough study of intricate wooden formworks, we developed casting methods by rescaling, de-fragmenting and collaging formworks and casts, experimenting with local aggregates and incorporating contemporary techniques.
On the grounds of minimalist sculpture, pre-hispanic monumentalism and geometric abstractionism, we concluded on the one hand with precise incisions in the local community as well as a number of concrete pieces, fragments or parts, which we then took back to Mexico City for an exhibition and publication.
AA Visiting School