Space
for
architecture

LIGA, Space for Architecture is an independent platform founded in Mexico City in 2011 that promotes Latin American contemporary architecture through exhibitions, conferences and workshops.

Schedules

L - V / M - F: 10:00 a 14:00 

otros horarios con cita / other time by appointment 

 

#arquitecturaexpuesta
#exposedarchitecture

Exhibitions

2019

TORAX. ESCOBEDO SOLIZ

The Bolivian-Mexican duo Escobedo Soliz builds an installation in LIGA's gallery space that, under the name of "thorax", protects the interior of its vacuum. A place built from wooden poles that creates a rhythmic oval structure.

A construction that reminds us of the rib cage of a great whale, trapped inside the gallery space itself. The "thorax" is fragile and flexible at the same time, a space that simultaneously represses and protects our vital organs: between prison and protective cave. It is difficult to know if the wooden structure inquestion is the fragile beginning of a construction (the wooden studs of a workin progress), or if it is its ruin, that what remains after the shipwreck.

The reductive, but explicit tectonics-in this case the pinewood slats and their joints articulated with ixtle-cord-is a key element in Escobedo Soliz's work. But here, the disjunction between the envelope (the floor, ceiling and walls of the gallery) and the interior temporary construction, generate an interstitial space: a witness of the friction that exists between the constructive logic and the architectural obsession. Accompanied by a text by Pablo Goldin, the exhibition questions whether architecture has the capacity to liberate and emancipate us, or if, in its naive ideological aspiration, it only makes us prisoners of its own system.

Pedro&Juana

The horizon is ours!
Opening: March 7, 2019
 
Since their introduction to museums in the 19th century, Dioramas have constituted a museographic device for displaying spaces to scale, where remote places, geographically or dislocated in time, are reflected. A mixture of art and science, dioramas became the first attempt at virtual reality, through the interrelation between a foreground and a painting in a curved background. Thus the diorama represented a natural space that was transformed into a landscape through its own constructive morphology.
 
For this project, the Mexican studio Pedro&Juana works with the device of diorama as a radical architectural gesture: a "window into the city" that reproduces a visual reality from an exercise in taxidermy, framing what by inertia is always in constant change. Through this intervention, Pedro & Juana makes an open question on the relationship between culture and nature, representation and reality, and the "power" of the subject and its capacity to contain, compose and fragment inside a vitrine the constructed world.

PEDRO ALONSO Y HUGO PALMAROLA

Trajectories of a panel
November 30 - February 22, 2019

For their exhibition at LIGA, Chilean researchers Pedro Alonso and Hugo Palmarola are presenting, for the first time in Mexico, a summary of their investigation into the “genealogies” of systems of construction models in Chile during the years of socialism under Salvador Allende. An investigation that links architecture to social and cultural transformations, fruit of the geopolitical avatars of modernity.

The exhibition takes a starting point the project “Monolith Controversies,” an investigation undertaken for the Venice Biennale 2014, curated by Rem Koolhaas, as part of the section “Absorbing Modernity.”  A hybrid object stood in the middle of the Pavilion of Chile: a concrete panel 3 x 3 m in height, produced by the KPD factory donated by the USSR to the city of Quipulé in Chile, to support the socialist government of Salvador Allende.

This concrete monolith, part an industrial product, part a monument to the present, was a symbol of the social and economic transformation of Chile through the mass construction of social housing. The model came from France, and had been invented as a cheap and efficient solution during the post-war reconstruction period in Europe. It was later adopted by the Soviet Union due to the housing shortage arising from the de-Stalinization process led by the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. Its third incarnation emerged in Cuba, where the system was readapted as the Soviet “Great Panel” in 1963, as the result of the donation of a concrete panel production factory to the regime of Fidel Castro. By means of these adaptations, the panel system finally reached the Chile of Salvador Allende, following a new donation of a KPD panel factory to support the Chilean people in the wake of the 1971 earthquake.

One of the first panels to be produced was signed by the hand of Allende himself, as a symbol of a new era, an example of modernization and new social policies for housing. Following the 1973 coup d’état, the factory switched direction and strategy, altering the path set out by the socialist wing. The wall, which was signed together with the Russian ambassador with the legend “Thank you Soviet and Chilean comrades,” was canceled out with a new layer, converting the social monolith into a traditional religious altar: the triumph of the conservative right over socialism and the burial alive of a moment loaded with hopes and airs of renewal. The factory continued operating, and the concrete panel would be assimilated into two politically antagonistic phases, representing its fourth and fifth interaction: the socialist KPD (1972) and the neoliberal VEP (1976).

For the exhibition, the two researchers make a recount through photographs of the history of the panel as a reflection of the architectural, political and cultural history of Chile, starting with a journey of several decades until its recovery and exhibition at the Venice Biennale. In the LIGA space a model of a “Matrioshka” building is on display, where the different interconnected systems of this model converge, with values of similarity and repetition, standardization and variation of an object, which is linked to technological, architectural, design, art, political and cultural processes.

In addition, drawings and press documents will be exhibited that accompanied  the sociocultural process of Chile and the transformation of the city during the period of Salvador Allende. Finally, a previously unseen documentary will be shown that covers the whole process of the recent discovery and unveiling of the panel.

 

About the researchers: Pedro Alonso is an architect who holds a master’s in Architecture from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, and a doctorate in Architecture from the Architectural Association of London. Hugo Palmarola studied design at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC). He holds a master’s in the History and Theory of Industrial Design from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), where he also studied a doctorate in Latin American studies with a thesis on the technological imaginary during the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema.

2018

JOSETO CUBILLA

Ambapy
March– May 2018
Offsite: Jardín 17, former Luis Barragán workshops
 
In the cosmogony of the Guaraní people, Ambapy* is the name given to the celestial vault that sits on the plinth of the Earth. For his intervention at LIGA, Paraguayan architect José Cubilla based himself on this mythical image to focus on the element of earth and the origin of the planet as a recurrent theme in many cultures, one that is intrinsically connected to architectural practice.Using a tamping and curing process, over 1,300 kilos of earth are compacted to form a beam 5 meters in length which hangs from a wooden structure with four legs, crowned by a large stone that stabilizes the whole.
 
The system in equilibrium is both robust and fragile at the same time. Although the materials used are humble and plain, Cubilla’s project is a sophisticated construction. The architect uses the LIGA gallery space as a laboratory to test the limits of strength and resistance associated with earth, the material. A metaphor that reminds us that the Earth itself can also be exhausted, and that it is a universal responsibility to keep it in balance.
 
* Ambapy
The concepts of Amba and Ambapy are essential to understand the worldview of different Guaraní cultures across the territory of South America, from the Amazon basin to the missions of Argentina. A region that encompasses more than 85 language variants from a single shared stem.
Amba: Literal definition of the celestial vault, which speaks of the origin and location of what is “up there.” A space that is home to the mythical beings that founded the culture, according to Guarani thought.
Ambapy: The celestial vault here on Earth, where human existence happens and teko, being, is administered, sustained by this vault.
 

2017

ALEJANDRO PAZ

Endogeneities
May – September 2017
 
The exhibition space appears to be empty for the show by Guatemalan architect Alejandro Paz. What fills every corner of the gallery for his exhibition Endogeneities is the music of a sound piece.
 
 
This is the sound recorded during a performance on the day of the exhibition opening, and corresponds to a small orchestra of musicians performing an adaptation of Erik Satie’s famous works for piano, Gymnopédies. Another detail: the musicians are not inside the gallery, but beneath it. From there, they play their instruments in the damp and slightly hostile ambiance of the basement. They are cramped among a series of mysterious artifacts: the adjustable pilings that replaced the original foundations of the building where LIGA is based, and which are periodically corrected by the engineers responsible for making sure the enormous structure remains standing.
 
The gallery space, normally occupied, is empty. The windows, usually transparent, are occupied by images of these pilings. The gloomy, concealed, underground universe of the foundations sees the light in the form of photographs adhered to the gallery windows. Meanwhile, a few meters below, the lost echo of an unseen orchestra resounds.
 

CAMILO RESTREPO. AGENdA

Canonical Tropics
March – May 2017
 
Camilo Restrepo intervenes the space with an installation comprised of translucent images of tropical plants. Thirteen sheets of printed cloth that recall the curtains used by Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich in the Café Samt & Seide in 1927, arranged according to the layout of Aldo Van Eych’s 1966 Sonsbeek Pavilion.
 
The exhibition by Columbian architect Camilo Restrepo, founder of the AGENdA studio, plays with the rules of Romantic painting to create a traversable hologram of the garden in his own studio in Medellin. The superimposition of motifs of plants from his native country transfers not only the ideas and concerns but the very workspace of the architect to the LIGA exhibition gallery.
 
In this way, Canonical Tropics questions the aesthetic notion with which European naturalists, led by the German Alexander von Humboldt and the Spaniard José Celestino Mutis—who met in Bogota around the year 1800—both deconstructed and synthesized huge swathes of the tropical region of the Americas on the basis of partial representations.Here, Camilo Restrepo offers a contemporary tropical narrative in which the stylized visions of the surroundings adapt to the visitor’s movement through the space.
 

SPACES WITHOUT DRAMA

Spaces without drama or surface is an illusion, but so is depth
Exhibition by LIGA at the Graham Foundation, Chicago
February 16 – July 1, 2017

Inspired by the recent proliferation of digital collage in architectural representation, architects, artists, and a dramaturge were asked to engage the overlaps between graphic collage and theatrical scenery and examine the ways that they employ two-dimensional surfaces to evoke architectural environments. Drawing on Aldo Rossi’s Little Scientific Theater(1978) and other historical precedents—including nineteenth century toy theaters and David Hockney’s design for The Magic Flute (1977) — the invitation to participate challenged contributors to explore the complex interaction between pictorial representation and three-dimensional composition through the lens of these theatrical apparatuses.
In response to this provocation, participants offered up all manner of responses that intertwined their own personal interests and modes of working with the curatorial inquiry; some contributed in the form of miniature stage sets, while others commented on historical sources, produced time-based pieces to evoke the narrative aspect of the theater, or made site-specific works for the Madlener House. When the eighteen commissioned works for this exhibition are placed alongside contemporary and historical references informing the project, the space of the Graham Foundation is transformed into a double stage: a staging of mise-en-scénes. As Rafael Moneo once suggested, referencing Rossi’s toy-like theater, it is “only the fiction of theater that allows us to understand reality.”
 
The exhibition features work by Emilio Ambasz, baukuh, Pablo Bronstein, Gerardo Caballero, fala atelier, Marcelo Ferraz, Sam Jacob Studio, William Leavitt, Johnston Marklee, Charles Moore, Monadnock, MOS Architects, Norman Kelley, OFFICE Kersten Geers David Van Severen, Jorge Palinhos, Pezo Von Ellrichshausen, Cecilia Puga, Aldo Rossi, Taller de Arquitectura Mauricio Rocha + Gabriela Carrillo, Silke Otto-Knapp, Gabriel Sierra, and Batia Suter.
 
Curated by Wonne Ickx and Ruth Estévez, LIGA — Space for Architecture. This exhibition was commissioned by the Graham Foundation, following the Foundation’s multi-year grant support of LIGA’s programs in Mexico City.

2016

UMWELT

The House of Machines
November 2016 – February 2017

More than one hundred steel trays for electric cables are piled up to form an imperfect, twelve-sided cylinder in this proposal by the architects UMWELT, Ignacio García Partarrieu and Arturo Scheidegger. The artifact, of uncertain origin and uncanny presence, occupies the LIGA exhibition space to the point of collapse.
 

Its interior, reached by an aperture in the continuous texture of the pieces, conceals a journey without beginning or end through the methodological and project history of the Chilean studio. While past exhibitions by Pezo von Ellrichshausen, and RCJV architects incorporated images and working plans from the respective studios, whether in the form of miniatures hung from the walls of a 1:10 scale museum or assembled in a book, UMWELT proposes to build an architecture that hosts the representation of other, absent architectures.
 
This structure, conceived not only as a symbolic object but also as a space capable of condensing the flow of visitors, presents an exhibition within an exhibition, thus questioning the paradox of exhibiting architecture.

S-AR

S-AR
A Column is a System
August – November 2016
 
For its twenty-third edition, LIGA is to function as both host and guest at once, dealing with both aspects of the work of an architecture exhibition, at the request of the Argentine gallery Monoambiente, which is organizing the Collaboratory. This curatorial experiment invites three institutions to develop a specific proposal for its space in Buenos Aires. As a result, Storefront for Art and Architecture (United States), The Canadian Centre for Architecture (Canada) and LIGA, Space for Architecture, (Mexico) are collaborating for the first time on a single project, with support from the Graham Foundation (Chicago), and in the process reinforcing the concept of a pan-American network.

 
Spreading this net, the Monterrey architects S-AR were caught up in it and accepted the challenge of a simultaneous intervention at LIGA and at Monoambiente. To achieve this, the members of S-AR propose not an isolated piece, but a strategy applicable to each of the two spaces, and topologically equivalent in both cases. The connection is also established through the material—steel mesh—and in counterpoint, since the steel is left raw in one space and painted white in the other. While in LIGA the work runs around the perimeter of the space with its three columns, wrapping it from inside in successive, see-through layers, in Monoambiente a single, imaginary, central column rises.
 
In both spaces, the overlapping meshes produces a moiré effect. This optical effect, perceived when two patterns of near-parallel lines overlap, occurs between meshes separated by just a few centimeters, but also between those that are thousands of kilometers apart, in two different hemispheres, conceptually superimposed from Mexico City to Buenos Aires.
 

Axel Arañó/Cano Vera/Dcpp/Iván Hernández/Tezontle

One Minute Exhibitions
June 2016

During a four day period, LIGA, Space for Architecture, Mexico City presented a series of consecutive one-minute-length exhibitions within the gallery space. For each exhibition, LIGA invited a Mexican architect or architectural studio.

 
As in LIGA’s three-month exhibitions, the gallery’s spatial condition becomes a crucial starting point. Until now, over 20 architects have explored, measured, transformed and interacted with the same space through site-specific installations. Now, the same practice repeats itself through a spatial and temporary experiment of fleeting nature, unmediated. After this experimental exhibition series, LIGA will present the documentary material of the exhibitions in a public event, where the participating architects will be invited to talk about the experience.
 
Ludens: www.ivan-hernandez-aay5.squarespace.com
Cano Vera:www.canovera.com
Axel Arañó:www.axelarano.blogspot.com
DCPP Arquitectos: www.dcpp.mx

Anna Juni, Enk Te Winkel, Gustavo Delonero (Vão) + Marina Canhadas

Subsolanus
February – May 2016
 
Subsolanus, LIGA’s 21st exhibition, is the result of the first public competition held by LIGA, Space for Architecture. Out of the 140 proposals received from ten different countries, the jury selected the project by the Brazilian team made up of [Vão] Anna Juni, Enk te Winkel, Gustavo Delonero + Marina Canhadas.
The winning proposal is possibly the most daring of all the competition entries, and indeed one of the most challenging in the history of LIGA. Availing of the competition, the logistical issues that normally limit the evolution of any exhibition project found themselves subordinated to the poetic beauty of an invisible gesture: conveying the air from the roof of the building designed by the architect Augusto Alvarez more than 30 meters down to the street level gallery, using a 60 cm diameter transparent plastic tube. The two spaces that comprise LIGA are thus physically connected for the first time: the gallery on the ground floor and the penthouse that hosts the lectures, debates, and interludes. In this way too, communication is established between the immediacy of the city dweller’s scale and that of the panoramic view of the city, between the human and the urban, practice and theory. Subsolanus gives rise to a metaphorical action whose effect—the wind entering the gallery—depends on weather conditions, and as such is inevitably outside of our control.
 

2015

Nicolas Campadónico

Simultaneous Alternatives
November – February 2016
 
LIGA, Space for Architecture reaches a milestone with its twentieth exhibition, with a proposal from Argentinian architect Nicolás Campodonico. Made from mirrored sheet steel, it takes the form of an acute angle whose vertex defines a vertical line between the ground and the ceiling in the center of the gallery, and whose extremes rest on the windowsills. After rejecting several different options, he settled on the title Simultaneous Alternatives.

It makes reference to the different options of spatial perception offered by the blurry reflection of the steel, the result of the thin sheet which leaves slight undulations in the surface. At the same time, it happens to recall the twenty installations that over the past five years, since LIGA was inaugurated in 2011, have occupied the gallery. The successive exhibitions have each left their mark on the space, like a kind of invisible preexisting structure. Observing Campodonico’s work with a little imagination allows us to look back over all the past simultaneous alternatives and, perhaps, some of those still to come.

www.nicolascampodonico.com.ar

TACOA (Rodrigo Cerviño + Fernando Falcón)

Jardineira
May – August 2015
 
Passed on from generation to generation, the Paulist School tradition of building with concrete maintains a clear presence in the work of Brazilian architects Fernando Falcón and Rodrigo Cerviño (TACOA). From the first conversation about their proposal for LIGA, the young firm from Sao Paulo set out their premises: as a starting point, any work of architecture (or its exhibition) should serve as a pretext for interacting directly with the city; that is, all architectural actions are urban actions. And the project had to be constructed—naturally—in reinforced concrete. In an age when the significance of architecture is measured by its potential for technological innovation and cultural rupture, the resolve with which TACOA asserted its connection to a local tradition is quite remarkable.

 
When Vilanova Artigas, the forerunner to the Paulist School, once expressed the differences between his design method and that of Oscar Niemeyer, he put it like this: “Oscar and I have the same concerns and face the same problems, but while he always seeks to resolve the contradictions in a harmonious synthesis, I clearly express them.”1 This is precisely what the strange object created by TACOA for the streets of Mexico City does in such a striking manner: to embody the frictions of urban life. Rodrigo Cerviño and Fernando Falcón replace the cracked and worn-out planters of this busy corner of Insurgentes Avenue with another, equally imperfect object: a sloping platform that is half bench, half planter, and which projects wildly from the urban crust like a tectonic plate that has been dislodged by extreme pressure.
 
1Cited in Bruand Yve, “Arquitetura contemporánea no Brasil” in Vilanova Artigas y la dialéctica de los esfuerzos / Vilanova Artigas and the dialectics of stress, Guilherme Wisnik, 2G No.54, João Vilanova Artigas, p.18
 

Estudio Macías Peredo

Summoning Stones
February – May 2015
 
Artisan and manual labor play a key role in the work of Macías Peredo. The studio creates strategies that make it possible to incorporate a certain level of improvisation and imprecision into the implementation of their projects. Their intervention in the LIGA gallery pursues the same philosophy. Inspired by a moving quote from Adolf Loos about the human quality of worked granite, the architects direct our attention to the very material of the gallery floor: black volcanic recinto stone. The couple from Jalisco asked for 33 tons of this locally-sourced material in its rawest and easiest-to-obtain form, such as the irregular leftovers from commercial quarrying. Working together with a team of builders, an intuitive process of testing piles of stone began. Based on a general idea of the floor plan composition, Macías Peredo react to “what the stone demands of them” and create structural solutions on the fly.
 
 
Meanwhile, for this exhibition Macías Peredo also “piles up” brief, intimate texts from close friends that speak, from different points of view, of the appreciation for the manual labor and role of the craftsman in architectural production. In their praxis, we can observe how the human hand manipulates material—even that which is least malleable—in order to tear the stone from the mountain and extract architecture from the natural landscape.
 

2014

Lab.Pro.Fab. Alejandro Haiek

Paperwork
November 2014 – February 2015
 
As with each of his projects, Alejandro Haiek turns his critical eye upon everyday practices of architecture and construction. Here, it is the bureaucratic processes, regulations, paperwork, permits and the arsenal of copies generated through this administrative window that become the focus of investigation for the Venezuelan architect. The reconstruction of the gallery using complex paper surfaces serves to denounce the hypocrisy and opportunism of “greenwashing,” the wastage of paper and the legislative logic that simply converts a raw material into a “dead” archive. The geometries of calculator paper that wrap the space in a matrix of folds display a professional practice driven above all by the rationale of billing, payment and finances.
 

The paper patterns are stretched between wooden frames and activated by the lighting and ventilation, which is controlled by interactive sensors. For the architect, these are manufacturing tests, experiments and prototypes where local knowledge, craftwork and traditional assemblages are linked with automatization, interactive systems and digital design processes. In this way, Haiek relates local skills with the global ecosystem, combining obsolete resources with applied technology. With the grace and ingenuity of an episode of “The Office,” the installation subverts the universe of the professional architect and transforms its everyday components—rolls of calculator paper, binder clips, paperclips or computer fans—into tools for poetry, criticism and resistance.

www.labprofab.com

Emilio Marín + Juan Carlos López

The Space Between Things
August – November 2014
 
The installation by the Chilean duo, Emilio Marín and Juan Carlos López, consists of a series of plaster objects arranged on four display cabinets distributed throughout the gallery space. The objects correspond to recent projects pursued by the studio; anonymous objects, or architectural or artistic references that have played a crucial role in the studio’s development. Works by Palladio, Ledoux, Niemeyer, Le Corbusier, Shinohara, Ito, Lewerentz, Hejduk and Rossi are juxtaposed alongside designers like Sottsass, and artists like Brancusi or Carl Andre. The objects form an active inventory, and an open-ended anthology of the studio’s interests: a frame of reference that avoids all geographic or chronological limitations, and which celebrates our actual information culture.

 

The materialization of these objects—through plaster castings in pale tones of grey, blue, yellow, pink and green—transforms this repertoire of references into the scale of the object, unifying their formal aspects and losing their particular qualities. Reminiscent of the nature morts of Giorgio Morandi, these objects are grouped onto white surfaces, and arranged into evocative ensembles, creating a balanced composition of eccentric figures. This small wunderkammer, installed at LIGA, presents the architect as a curator, collector and editor. Reading, observing, lending, copying, assembling and decoding the spatial proposals of today and the past are the processes which, for Marín and López, produce meaningful architecture today.
 

MAPA

 

Spaces within Spaces

 

May – August 2014
 
The binational practice MAPA employs a strategy to make the gallery space itself present and tangible by means of lattice of wooden posts. Recalling a hypostyle hall, this distribution of contiguous elements creates an intensified experience of the space, generating orthogonal and diagonal views through the obstacles. Each of these vertical columns has also been cut into and houses a scale model of a scene from everyday life. This assembly of small spaces within the space presents architecture as a discipline in which material and life come together.

 
 
The visitor’s exploration activates the space, creating personal encounters between the individual and the activities represented, as well as a fragmented reading of the visitor in the space—a recurring strategy in MAPA’s work. Taken as a whole, the multiple everyday scenes and the mathematical repetition of the wooden posts generate a symbiosis between life and material, between individual scenes and the collective formed by the polis, and between the particular and the generic.
 

Diego Arraigada

Looking in, Looking Out
April – May 2014

For his intervention at LIGA, Argentinian architect Diego Arraigada takes one of the most characteristic features of the gallery as a starting point: the two horizontal openings that connect it with its urban surroundings. Using a plain metal structure that connects the inner edges of both windows, the architect sets up a spatial short-circuit that renders superfluous the glass separating the exhibition space from the city itself. As if it were an ingenious Escher-like construction, the façade of the building folds in on itself and projects our gaze back out into the street.

Depending on the point of view, the ambiguous contraption hung between the two masonry walls can function at once as a tunnel or a bridge, as a space or as an object: a Moebius strip that confuses the interior with the exterior. In this way, with the use of a restrained, direct work of architecture that emerges from these specific conditions, Arraigada perforates the building and calls into question one of the basic premises of architecture: the definition of an inside and an outside.

www.diegoarraigada.com

2013

MMX

 

Coexistences (LIGA in the Lisbon Triennial)
November, 2013

In conjunction with the Lisbon Architecture Triennale, LIGA inaugurates a double exhibition, simultaneously showcasing Portuguese studio RCJV in Mexico City and Mexican architectural firm MMX in Lisbon, Portugal.

MMX generates an insight on scale, content and frequency by multiplying the space of LIGA in the large second floor gallery of MUDE (Museum of Design and Fashion of Lisbon). LIGA could fit as many as thirty times within the 561 m2 of MUDE, which means that, taking size as the main reference, MUDE could feature the work of up to thirty architectural firms: the same physical volume that would be achieved after eight years of exhibition. MMX has installed a repetition of LIGA’s perimeter through vermillion fabrics tightly bound around metallic columns that created a diagonal field that saturated MUDE’s space. The geometrical and spatial attributes of each space create a dialogue with each other in order to explore the possibilities of content, establishing a new relational organization. The show is accompanied by a text written by anthropologist Pablo Landa (MEX).

www.mmx.com.mx

Ricardo Carvalho + Joana Vilhena

A Room for Mexico City
November 2013 – January 2014
 
In Conjunction with the Lisbon Architecture Triennale, LIGA is inaugurating a double exhibition, simultaneously showcasing Portuguese studio RCJV in Mexico City and the Mexican architectural firm MMX in Lisbon, Portugal.

RCJV’s proposal, A Room for Mexico City involves the construction of a space –a room– that floats inside of LIGA’s exhibition space. Placed inside this chamber is a unique and unpublished atlas: a book that gathers images of places, objects, elements and works that recreate the career of Ricardo Carvalho and Joana Vilhena throughout the years. “The Room is the Place of the Mind. In a small room one does not say what one would in a large room”. With this statement of Louis Kahn, RCJV discusses the construction of an everyday architecture that also happens in the present moment, carried out with light and ephemeral materials. The show is accompanied by texts written by architects Manuel Aires Mateus (POR) and Mauricio Pezo (CHL).

www.rcjv.com

Luis Aldrete

Mock up of a common place
August  – October 2013

As in all of Luis Aldrete’s projects, his intervention at LIGA starts from a deep interest in tangible objects, materials and experiences. The patio of his office in Guadalajara shows us the anonymous sources and references that are key elements that define a personal language, and the inclusion of physical memory is crucial in the materialization of his work.


 

 

At the gallery he uses plain formwork, earth, vegetation and mirrors, to submerge a small garden into the mass of earth: an architecture that is anchored deeply in an undeniable telluric condition, intimately related to a material universe. The access to this hidden oasis generates expectations, displacements and tensions that immerse us in a contemplative micro-universe. There, the infinite repetition produced by the mirrors creates an illusory space that reveals the spatial possibilities and sensibilities implicit in the daily world around us.

https://luisaldrete.com

Eduardo Castillo

Opaque Sound
May – July 2013

Opaque Sound is a project that consists of a robust wooden piece that occupies almost the entire gallery. The intrusive mass not only annuls the gallery space, but also obstructs, with its presence, the views to the inside. The volume (a spatial configuration recuperated from a previous project where it served as furniture in a public square) is literally embedded between floor and ceiling, thus impeding a clear definition of the real nature of this object.  Between artifact, sculpture, architecture, found object, archeological find, or fallen meteorite, the excess of the introduced mass causes a disquieting confrontation with the space.



 

Chilean architect Eduardo Castillo, who was also educated as carpenter in his father’s workshop, explains: “I propose to occupy a gallery with opacity, with a wood structure measuring 2, 26 meters in height.  Silent, scented and braced, half-way between a backwater and a hideout for gangs. It is not a work of art to be exhibited, but rather a space excessively occupied with a wood structure, temporarily boxed in with four wedges between earth and sky that, like in a Grimm tale, allows me to show the ability of transforming straw into gold.”

PLAN:B

Permeability
February – April 2013

Permeability is a project that directly relates to the last publication by plan:b, which carries the same title. Giving the same status to the different formats of work, such as drawing, travel, model, construction or dialogue, Felipe and Federico Mesa understand their practice as a learning process, generating open situations, provisional agreements, non-imposing phenomena inserted into changing and flexible eco-social networks. Permeability, more than being a material, social and organic quality, is here a condition that allows for relational architecture, an architecture full of influences, obliged to the partial agreement and immersed in the flux of interactions and negotiations of everydayness.


 

The show expands and materializes the content of the book through projection of audiovisual materials that have been realized ex profeso for this installation. The register of light and sound phenomena (all recorded in different places) penetrate from the outside into the inside spaces.  Their projection through reflecting filters in the LIGA gallery suggests that architecture emerges from an unequal meeting between light flows and the heavy movement of matter. For plan:b, architecture is pure permeability.

http://www.planbarq.com

2012

Izaskun Chinchilla

House: Tree, Chocolate, Chimney
November 2012 – January 2013

In her project House: Tree, Chocolate, Chimney, Izaskun Chinchilla turns the gallery space into the scene of a countryside birthday that celebrates housing, which, according to the architect, is millions of years old. Three edible cake-shaped models, on top of tables with cart wheels and tree trunks, are decorated with children’s motifs and lit with lamps that have organic shapes. Each cake represents different states of the treehouse, a metaphor Chinchilla uses to talk about the most natural and ancestral way of living.  The festive installation communicates the essence of her architectural work: the relation of the house with the immediate environment, the responsibility of the architect-citizen in the construction of the city and the poorly-achieved sensorial spontaneity with which architects approach the theme of housing.
 

In spite of the bucolic environment that emanates from this ludic and colorful installation, the architecture signals with precision and clarity the urgent problematics of the actual crisis of the discipline— its disconnect from the user and the distrust of society towards the profession.  Like Charles and Ray Eames, for Chinchilla “everything is architecture.” Inspired by the ubiquitous details of daily life, her work promotes an architecture engaged with professional innovation: a refreshing combination of new technologies and a search for primary and sensorial experiences.

www.izaskunchinchilla.es

 

Adamo-Faiden

An Environment
May – August 2012

An Environment centers on a method that is very common in the work of Adamo-Faiden: the creation of interstitial spaces that mediate between two different conditions.  These environments physically recreate themselves through an installation with three video projectors, three transparent screens, a smoke machine and an extractor.  The video projectors and screens are installed in such a way that photographic fragments of the studio’s work are shown in front of the three windows of the space. Over regular time lapses, the show fills with artificial smoke, substituting the clarity of the projected images with the materialization of the air confined between the walls of LIGA.  When the space is filled with smoke, the extractor is activated and empties the space, making the slides shown on the screen visible again.

The installation oscillates between the representation of an architectonic strategy and its materialization. The images come together in a volume of air that abandons its condition of empty space generating an environment that exposes methods, fantasies and ambitions of the Argentine studio as phantasmagorical fragments that dissolve in the space.  This information constructs an unstable yet specific atmosphere, a spatial interstice that, in this installation, acquires autonomous sensibility

www.adamo-faiden.com


 

Carla Juaçaba

Isostasy
February – May 2012
 
Brazilian architect Carla Juaçaba starts from the idea that all architecture is a physical effort: the task of building implies work, force exerted on matter and the introduction of an abstract conception in the context of the terrain.  High power magnets, guitar strings, marbles of green glass, metal pulleys and small brass strips create a composition in equilibrium that alludes to structural situations similar to the ones she has constructed. This installation highlights almost telluric physical tensions, with which architecture orders material and confronts gravity.
The title of the show, Isostasy, refers to the ideal gravitational equilibrium that regulates the height of continents and the depths of oceans, according to the density of rock-like masses. The term was first coined in 1889, when US geographer Dutton described this phenomenon of hydrostatic equilibrium of tectonic plates. As if the architect would have planned it in advance, in direct relation to the title of the show, this fragile installation collapsed on May 20, 2010, only 25 days after its inauguration, when an earthquake of a 7.4 magnitude on the Richter scale shook Mexico City.  Even though the incident caused some losses, the work, which precisely expressed the fragility of a construction in equilibrium, was fully restored a few days later.
 

2011

Ambrosi arquitectos

Addition Substraction
November 2011 – February 2012

Addition Substraction is an intervention of piled up wood with which Jorge Ambrosi revisits the spatial forms of five recent residential projects. The work emphasizes tectonics, materiality and the strong interest in how things are assembled in construction, all of which stimulate Ambrosi’s research. It is an architectonic grammar in which different constructive elements are piled up with the logic and precision of mechanical engineering, generating tacit architectonic solutions of balanced proportions and mathematical modulations.

 

This installation invites the visitor to walk through the space, using movement to discover, approach, touch and feel the robust models of raw material. It also evokes a moment full of expectations, when primary matter arrives at the construction site and remains temporarily piled up, waiting for its confrontation with the terrain.  The “act” or “action” of architecture happens in that moment, when the drawn traces start to orchestrate form and final position of those solids inside the projected whole. Just like Ambrosi’s work, the spatial intervention in LIGA happens in a serious and direct manner. The naked visibility of the constructive parts show architecture in its most intimate and unprotected form, inviting us to reflect on the assembly processes that define the nature of his work.

www.amet.mx

Paisajes emergentes

Floodings
August – October 2011

The Colombian studio Paisajes Emergentes has selected five projects developed for different cities, each of which responding to a concrete geography and distinct socio political conditions, but with one element in common: the hydrological phenomena.  Paisajes Emergentes’ intervention exemplifies its interest in creating intangible phenomena and environments that are based in water, temperature, humidity, condensation… Elements that seem impossible to represent through traditional architectural means.

The title of the show suggests that the gallery is flooded with water that is contained in a hydrogel, which are minuscule spherical particles of a polymer normally used for agriculture, greenhouses and hydroponic farms, and that can absorb 150 times their own weight in water. This material allowed the architects to create a set of scale models inside a continuous aquatic landscape. The light projected from the lower part of the base generates a somnambulist light effect, characteristic for the studio. This light accelerates evaporation of the contained water and creates, throughout the exhibition space, a humidity similar to that of a greenhouse. The plants between the water particles activate the installation with live elements, introducing continuous and slow change in the scenery over the course of the exhibition.

About the architects: www.l-a-p.co / www.luiscallejas.com

Photos: Ramiro Chaves

Pezo Von Ellrichshausen

No More, No Less
April – July 2011

For LIGA’s opening exhibition, the chilean-argentine studio Pezo von Ellrichshausen inserts a museum at a 1:10 scale into the exhibition space.  Inside the twelve rooms of the imagined square space, using models and large scale drawings and photos, they show twelve projects illustrating the studio’s work.

These range from typological studies between art and architecture to built residential projects. No More No Less revisists notions of structural clarity, formal unity and typological repetition, all of which are present in the monolithic and enigmatic objects that compose their oeuvre. The representation of architecture in scale (through photos, models and 1:20 drawings) inside the “mother-model,” generates a double reduction that speaks to a problematic inherent to architecture: the exhibition as representation of an absent object and architecture itself as the representation of yet another thing.

www.pezo.cl