studio viktor sørless has been commissioned to design a main building for ‘xinatli’, a new research museum in the mexican jungle. together with estudio juiñi, the norwegian-german studio developed the design as a modified step pyramid structure that will house the main exhibition areas, while the site will also include several art pavilions and a terrestrial institute operated by scientists. the building will employ ecological construction methods, and consist of earth and wooden load-bearing elements.renderings by bloomimages and bloomrealities
drawings © studio viktor sørless, estudio juiñi
mexican art collector fernanda raíz plans ‘xinatli’ as a research museum for people, art, and science exploring the possibility of harmonious coexistence in the 21st century. the name of the research museum, xinatli, is based on the terms xinachtli from the nahua language and describes the moment in which a seed germinates, growing into its life-giving form. the phrase symbolizes creation and honors the potential for metamorphosis. the first xinatli building has been designed by studio viktor sørless and estudio juiñi, both specialists who have been researching earth as innovative construction material for years.
‘xinatli’ will be located in an area in the mexican jungle to the south of the country, in the tropical conditions of the rainforest. the site will include a newly-arranged stepped pyramid housing the main exhibition areas, along with several art pavilions and a terrestrial institute operated by scientists. a 90-hectare area of cleared forest, previously affected by illegal logging, has been selected for the site and will be reforested in the coming years.
each of the complex’s facilities is designed to explore the ‘pluriverse’ of life within biodiversity and human communities and carry this knowledge forward in art and research. the museum addresses the urgency of climate change, utilizing art and aesthetic perception, an ecologically oriented way of building, and a cultural engagement with ‘the other’ to help preserve the permanence of all life on our planet. ‘until now, museums have usually been a space where power is put on display. a 21st century museum should not be a showcase for power but instead a place that advocates for greater equity: in ecology, in art and in society,’ says fernanda raíz, mexican art collector and xinatli’s founder.
the first ‘xinatli’ building, designed by studio viktor sørless together with mexican estudio juiñi, will consist of earth and wooden load- bearing elements. the earth will be refined according to the knowledge of local craftsmen; chukum resin and sisal fiber will increase the weather resistance and tensile strength of the building, helping it to cope with the tropical conditions of the nearby rainforest. the design envisions a re-modeling of the stepped pyramid as a symbolic dissolution of hierarchy in our societies. the widest layer of the step pyramid has been raised from its base to the middle of the building, levelled with the crowns of the tallest trees, and so, symbolically, eye-to-eye with nature.
architect: studio viktor sørless and estudio juiñi
location: mexico, reforested area on the edge of tropical rainforest
status: planned for construction
year: 2021 – ongoing
client: fundación raíz
sofia lekka angelopoulou I designboom
feb 05, 2021