The Cervantes Theater is a two-segment project that seems to draw both from European and Mexican heritage of critical regionalism. Standing next to the Soumaya Museum, the Theater appears to be even anachronistic, with its vocabulary of masses and voids competing with the self-indulgent exterior of its neighbor. Located in a former industrial zone of Mexico City, now planned for redevelopment, the building fits seamlessly into the surroundings. It cultivates the idea of architectural narratives, so obviously negated by the adjacent museum.
The metal canopy echoes the space below. It engages in a dynamic interplay with the excavated spaces of the Theater. Its purpose is to frame space, appropriate it, and then return it to the user. It seeks dialogue with the elements:”… the Dovela (Keystone) appears as a stone of air, supported by the space that comes from a sequence of excavated terraces; that offers to the sun which moves the time when going through its slats… It is a mathematical object which allows the natural elements (water, light and air) to affect its last configuration.” It creates a field of potential activities connected to the Theater, leaving the open plaza to act as a pedestrian trajectory and a processional pathway towards the underground content for theater goers. Negative spaces, sequencing, horizontal tension are all principles deployed by this evocative project.
“Once inside the earth, the Theater appears as the end of this sequence of spaces. Here the synthesis of the building culminates with the function of a halted time, recreated, a place to contemplate.”