LOCATION: Aculco, State of Mexico
CONSTRUCTION: 6 m2
TEAM: Pablo Pérez Palacios + Alfonso de la Concha Rojas, EMET TRUXES
PHOTOGRAPHY: Onnis Luque / Rory Gardiner
Archifice: A Sukkah for the City seeks to redefine the manner in which nature is inserted into the modern city as artifice. Defining the urban as a field, we see three ways in which figural interventions occur. The first is the urban park, in which nature is artificially fitted within a preexisting context. Such urban parks exist as a direct result of local conditions. The second is the urban landscape, a response that actively creates a new artificial figure within its context. Self-aware, urban landscapes actively engage in the act of artifice through carving, digging, and twisting the ground plane. The third, landscape enclosure, captures the artifice and adds definition via spatial, architectonic boundaries. In Archifice we push these ideas further with a design that merges the act of artifice into a modular construction system. The resulting architectural figure, therefore, is the product of a localized field condition that incorporates the concepts of the natural.
Traditionally, sukkahs served as a means to be outside and connect with nature. In the modern urban context, this connection with nature is hard to achieve; therefore, Archifice brings the experience of nature into the interior, representing the traditional role of the sukkah.
As such, Archifice is constructed from raw, unfinished materials: ½” thick plywood boards define the module, in which we insert a soil container of coconut fiber netting. In each container, we place a variety of plants, all of which are open to the sun and the elements through each module’s lightwell.
The geometry of Archifice ensures that the sukkah acts as an object that responds to the urban nature of Union Square, while the inside functions as a world apart. Interior views are limited upwards to the sky through the lightwells, forcing an immediate reaction from the user. This exteriority and interiority speak to the true nature of the sukkah, which exists as a porous structure whose spaces are by definition neither interior nor exterior.