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A ROOM by Matteo Ghidoni + Enrico Dusi


A magical desert in the middle of Mexico City

One day, in the middle of Mexico City A ROOM appeared. It had high walls, painted in light pink and it was filled with sands from the desert and cactuses. People wondered what happened, how that construction managed to appear, between buildings, cars and crossroads; then went inside to take a picture of what looked like a spell.

We could tell the story behind A ROOM by Matteo Ghidoni + Enrico Dusi as it was a fairy tale, the place where the extraordinary meets the everyday life; we could invent a magical trick that creates pink walled fortress and puts them in the middle on the biggest cities on earth - but A ROOM is what we can call a site-specific architecture, an installation of contemporary art and architecture that brings a little piece of nature in town: now a Juan Benavides' video presents it to our viewers.

The ROOM is a 43 m2 triangular space surrounded by 4 meters-high walls. The walls are built in concrete blocks. The external surface of the walls is raw, the internal one is painted in light pink, a very popular color, often used as background for plants - such as on the instagram account @plantsonpink. The Room has one circular entrance measuring 2 meters in diameter, and a smaller porthole measuring 60 centimeters placed 2,8 meters above the ground level. Both holes are realized with precast concrete elements, such as common sewage headwalls. The ROOM creates an inside and an outside space: a secluded space where people could experience what a desert feels like - just like the opposite of Mexico City. Mexico DF, in fact, is one of the most populated place on earth and it doesn't allow for emptiness or free spaces: the video shows women and men climbing the gentle slope inside and taking pictures. What is noticeable here is the void, the desire for emptiness never satisfied in cities. The ROOM offered not only that, but also 120 m2 of total exhibition surface for festival purposes. The ROOM could be painted, vandalized, covered in stickers and posters.

Juan Benavides' video confront with this ephemeral architectural work, this fragment of desert brought in the middle of the chaos, using slow camera movements, capturing the reactions of the visitors and the sounds of a city that rediscovers the quietness.

(Story by Sara Marzullo, The Architecture Player)


Architects: Matteo Ghidoni + Enrico Dusi
Mentioned project: A ROOM (2017)
Project location: Mexico City, Mexico
Designing Team: Arin Alia, Matteo Bassi, Roxani Maragkoudaki, Louise de Belle
Construction: Factor Eficiencia

Mexico 2017
Duration: 2'05"