The growth of the Truper tool manufacturing plant has increased significantly in recent years, thus its enrollment has grown and with it the necessity to increase its facilities, such as industrial dining rooms, offices, parking lots, etc. Among all these needs, there is one that is very important for the company, which is the well-being of the workers and their families. The plant used to have a sports field where tournaments organized by the union were frequently held. The need for more space led to the decision to relocate the sports field. This project sought to take the intention beyond a sports field and instead create a sports and wellness center for the employees. This center was to include fronton, basketball, soccer and volleyball courts, an open-air gym and a roofed gym, as well as workshop activities such as pilates and yoga. It would also include a medical office. Workers will be able to bring their families to the facilities to enjoy sports and recreational activities, such as barbecues and picnics, thus creating a high-level recreational area. This is how the idea of managing this sports center arose.
Part of the challenge was finding the ideal location for a program of this magnitude since, due to its nature, it was essential to have a large area on which to place the fields. We proposed to locate it at the end of the plant so it would have a direct connection to the road, as well as an internal connection with the plant. We also took into account that the terrain had to be in a condition that would favor the program's location. Thanks to the steep nature of the chosen terrain, it was easy to place the courts because we did not have to move pre-existing buildings, as the land was formerly a former crop field.
Being located in a valley without buildings, the intervention seeks to be almost volumetrically imperceptible and thus manifest the importance of the horizontal landscape with a building that does not interfere with the plain view of the context. The built part of the program was decided to be managed below ground level and would house the workshops, gyms, services and the office.
The idea was that the building should not contrast, with the aim of being the least invasive, an approach of great importance for the company since, as it is an industrial building, the opposite is usually the case The built element emerges as a dent in the ground, this drove us to generate an indentation where the built spaces of the program are developed. We wanted visitors to perceive a trace of pre-Hispanic heritage in their journey between stairways and terraces that descend gradually. The visitor will arrive at the site and as they walk along they will encounter the place while gradually becoming contained within it. We sought to create courtyards by digging into the ground, which made the workshops feel as if they were part of the site from the beginning. We generated large slabs and patios that are embroidered with uninterrupted slabs, accompanying the path of voids through the play of horizontal surfaces. The prehispanic sensation became more present through the paths, the tectonics, the sound and the emptiness.
For the ground intervention we used pigmented concrete in the tone of the local stone in order to resemble the earth of the ground of the region. We used flagstone on the floor so that it would still feel natural. There are times of the year when the landscape fades into ochre tones and it is in this way that it becomes more noticeable how the building is lost.
In order to make the entire site walkable, a series of kiosks were distributed along the grounds of the courts. These kiosks were designed according to the identity of the industry, using beams like the ones used in the warehouses. This materiality has the same language but is used in a delicate way without nodes or visible screws. In addition to this, we chose to use the oxide red color in these elements to give contrast to the vegetation and the landscape. The same principles were used in the design of the equipment for the courts, such as benches and resting areas.
When working on a project we always take it as an opportunity to make a kind of tectonic land art piece, where the unbuilt space is much more important than the built one.
Design team: Pilar Rico, Diego Portilla, Iván Bustillos, Jorge Olvera
Structure: Juan José Larios
Instalations: Uriel García