Pluma Hidalgo is a town of about 3,000 inhabitants, located about 1,300 m above sea level in Plena Sierra Madre del Sur, in the State of Oaxaca, Mexico. It is a coffee area by nature since it has a favourable climate for one of the best coffees in the world to be cultivated. This high-quality industry is its main economic focus and tourist attraction. Given the importance of coffee in the municipality, the authorities intend to design a Coffee Museum to promote tourism in the area.
The program we are asked to include in the building is as follows:
Cafe tasting area
Showroom area of the entire coffee-making process
The connection between the main street of the town and the upper neighbourhood through a walk through the mountains
With these programmatic premises and the impressive location where the project is located, we took two main ideas in the project:
Given the importance of the mountains for the town and its coffee development, for the formalization of the building we take as reference the formations of the geological faults, which help us to organize the programs and tours as well as help the final shape of the building to be similar to a mountain range.
The inclusion of an existing promenade in the town in the project through the roof of the building and including views towards the interior, which provides another interesting vision of the Museum and makes it a more deeply rooted piece of the town.
Structurally, the most efficient grid is sought to locate the parking in the basement to house the largest number of cars, an idea that perfectly matches the “geological faults” that order the project.
As for proposed materials, it is a project that is nourished by local construction systems and materials (gabled roofs made of clay tiles, indigenous natural stone floors, block walls, bamboo on the facade), but treated in a way somewhat different.
In this way, a spatial and formally interesting building is achieved at a low cost (no need for external labour or large logistics of transporting materials).