Hotel Centro Histórico
Mexico City’s Historic Center builds its memory over its own ruins, it is composed of a series of layers that wrap the legacy left by each era and at the same time, the overlapping of all of them, creates the inherent need to resignify itself as a whole.
The building is an 18th century construction, considered a historical heritage site by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH). The abandonment and decay of this building led us to confer it a new meaning in order to rescue its historical value and recover its natural beauty. Therefore, the strategy consisted of replacing with lightness everything that was not original.
When analyzing the construction process, we found a common denominator between restoring and building: scaffolding. An element that enables to create flexible structures according to the conditions of the place in order to add – almost without disturbing the pre-existing – and to evidence the new from the old. Allowing the use of wood as a structural protagonist.
The building is developed on four levels with an honest language, where both layers coexist. On the two historical levels, the proposal is to restore the building to its original condition, preserving the courtyards that provide vegetation and light to the complex. The following two levels respond directly to the program’s requirements, with a narrative that contrasts the historical and seeks to build the contemporary through the structural expression of the wooden scaffolding.
By inhabiting the ruin, this building is dignified and remains active, appreciating the past and coexisting with the present. It becomes another layer of history that hosts a new life.