I remember that when I was invited to form part of a group of architects who would develop an urban project of 700 condominiums and homes on just under 55 acrespart of a rare land reserve in El Pedregal neighborhood of southern Mexico City I had before me a few ceramic pieces by Gustavo Pérez.

This was a series of vases transformed, step by step, from cylinder to pyramid. Each piece contained a phrase or message, and comprised a certain personality or independence. And yet every single one made sense with regards to the rest of the group and formed part of a total concept, which got me thinking that this is how a city should be. The initial starting point of the concept was a compound metamorphosis in which each architect would propose a building that set up a dialogue of sorts with the previous project; this would imprint a distinctive personality on his work, always in response to the one before. Thus, a sequence would be gestated: a volume, a body that would act as the starting point of what came next.

Every architect dreams of creating an entire city, whereas a city would never dream of being created by a single architect. Fortunately, El Pedregal contemplated various architects from various countries  Spaniards, Portuguese, and Mexicans who sought to break away from the customary homogeneity of large developments. In the beginning, Martín Gutiérrez, Aires Mateus, Juan Herreros, Iñaqui Ávalos, Rafael Otero, and I would be the architects in charge of making this project a reality. I don’t hold much stock in big projects, but when this one arose, it seemed viable. Moreover, it constituted an opportunity for a personal exercise based on something collective, destined from the outset to create a small city. This project turned out to be not only a challenge, but also one of the most dynamic and exciting stages of my professional career. Time and reality diminished that excitement, however, given that the work was never completed. A sales floor and a corporate office building were eventually built in an enormous, very low budget industrial warehouse made of recyclable material. The rest continued to be no more than a hope, an idea... Martín Gutiérrez (Gutiérrez Architects) was able to develop the main access to the compound, an entrance gateway. The images appearing here correspond to an early stage of the general project and are my work.
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