Brick arcade by MMX revitalises earthquake-hit public square in Mexico
Brick archways fold around this public square in Jojutla, Mexico, which architecture studio MMX has redeveloped after it was left devastated following the country's deadly 2017 earthquake.
Central Gardens of Jojutla was constructed as part of a major effort to rebuild the wrecked areas of the town, located south of Mexico City.
Ochre brick arcades influenced by the traditional architecture of the region are arranged in a fan-like pattern, adjacent to the plaza's gardens.
The structures encircle a central courtyard, which is to be used as social and civic meeting area, and paved with brick and basaltic grey stone. Visitors can pass through the arch ways to enter verdant garden spaces that showcase an extensive array of local flora species. Nestled within the patches of greenery are stone benches.
Each of the public square's newly defined areas has a purpose and relates to the others. These designated spaces include leisure and community meeting points, a civic square and an open-air forum.
"The generation of a civic square with a new identity was only possible by understanding and ordering the previously disarticulated spaces and giving each of the spatial elements a new role while keeping a strong relationship between them," MMX said.
"Spaces that recognise and fortify the transit, pause, leisure and encounter of their users."
Trees were a primary influence for the garden's design as they were some of the only remnants left in the area following the earthquake.
"The Civic Centre of Jojutla was bound to become the 'Central Gardens of Jojutla' evoking the concept of resiliency by means of the vegetation," the architects added.
MMX worked closely with members of the community to realise the project allowing everyone to participate in its creation and development.
"Community leaders, historians, architects, government and the population were all actors of an open and participative process," the Mexican studio said.
MMX's Central Gardens of Jojutla is among a wave of projects initiated to rebuild areas devastated by the 19 September quake, which caused major destruction across the states of Puebla and Morelos, as well as the Greater Mexico City area, and killed over 350 people.
Studios Lanza Atelier and TO, and architect Alberto Odériz are also building a community centre in Ocuilan as part of reconstruction efforts. The project will be built from stacks of earthen blocks, some of which the team used to erect a small pavilion during last year's Design Week Mexico.
MMX, which is shortlisted for a Dezeen Award in the emerging architects category, was founded in 2010 by Jorge Arvizu, Ignacio del Río, Emmanuel Ramírez and Diego Ricalde. Its previous projects include an origami-like pavilion crafted from scaffolding and canvas and offset concrete and brick volumes that comprise an entire residential block in Mexico City.
Photography is by Dane Alonso.