Project Name: Renovation of the Alameda Park, Jojutla
Practice: DAFdf Arquitectura y Urbanismo
Firm Location: Ciudad de Mexico, Mexico
Completion year: 2018-2019
Gross Built up Area: 3,695m2 (land); 575m2 (arch)
Project Location: Jojutla, Morelos. Mexico
Lead Architects: M. Arq Gabriela Bojalil Rébora, Arq. Paul J.J. van der Voort
Design Team: Paul van der Voort y Gabriela Bojalil Rébora con Diego Aguilar Escalona, Eduardo Kuk Aguirre, Gerardo Hernández Juárez, Norma Trujillo Vicencio
Clients: CIDS Infonavit / Fundación Hogares
Structural Consultants: GUTVE, Joaquín Gutiérrez Vega
Landscape Consultants: Ambiente Arquitectos Asociados, Juan Manuel Guerra Villasana
Photo Credits: Jorge Rodriguez Almanza, DAFdf, Luis Tlapa.
(Text as submitted by the Architect)
In recent years, La Alameda was presented as a set of ideas and interventions from different periods, conflicting and encounters and neglected vegetation. In interviews with the community, it was understood that the first concern of the neighbors was the lack of order and visibility, causing a security problem.
La Alameda, the spiritual heart of Jojutla, is in a place with a great historical sense, where in distant times the city was founded; in a nearby strategic position and at the top of the Apatlaco river. Here the most important churches were erected. The space was open according to these buildings and staggered towards the river. After the 2017 earthquake, we proposed a renovation in which the Alameda returns to its original character and function, considering the precise and respectful historical sense.
The aim of the project was a profound renovation, with greater frankness and visual and spatial openness. In the first instance and after consultation with INAH and the community, fractured elements were removed; the kiosk and the generic arch were dismantled and relocated; and the arcade-like facade on Cobarrubias street was demolished. These architectural elements were neither original nor historical structures. They were recent additions, including conflicting ones, that obstructed visibility and contributed to a cacophonous and inconsistent urban image.
The new project proposes a series of platforms and stairways that emphasize the original topography of the site, making the spaces of the plaza more accessible to the visitor, and opening the view to the Cerro Jojutla that crowns the city. The stairs are presented as seats, planters and tribunes, to be used in any event or situation. The covering of the square is made of natural stone aligned to the topography. The fixed bench-type furniture is integrated into the concept of the floor, such as stone extrusions with more comfortable additions in wood.
Programmatically the Alameda is divided into a plaza and promenade area, a game area, and a semi-covered area for sports and meetings. In the central area, more landscaped spaces were introduced with walkways between them, favoring the typical walk of a boulevard. Valuable trees are preserved, leaving more space for them and in resonance with those in the atrium of the neighboring church. More trees with wide crowns and showy blooms were planted that form a wide canopy of shade and expression of the spectacular vegetation of Morelos. The planters, which function as water receptors, were planted with low-maintenance endemic species. This area is animated by the presence of water starting from the existence of wells. The relationship of the square with the river is recovered in a playful element and atmospheric comfort.
The children’s play area is preserved, with new furniture, covered benches and tables, and productive fruit and herbal vegetation. The sports and meeting area is covered with new intersecting semicircular arches that refer to the dome of a church or convent. They are integrated between the treetops and preserve views of the historical context. They cover a multifunctional space that will be used as a forum for various citizen events. R. Sánchez Street is presented as a tree-lined axis. Sor Juana joins the rear walkway through a walk lined with palm trees, crossing the square and linking the parts of the neighborhood.
With the sum of these actions in terms of social and environmental sustainability in a comprehensive project, the Alameda opens to the context and the community.
The “Renovation of the Alameda Park” project was carried out as part of the 2017 earthquake reconstruction works, in which the city of Jojutla was one of the areas with the greatest impact. The project is part of the “Jojutla Regional Vision”, a territorial program that incorporates the neighboring municipalities of Zacatepec and Tlaquiltenango, in the south of the state of Morelos.