following the september 2017 earthquakes, which severely shook the town of juchitán in southern mexico, didier fiúza faustino has volunteered to build pro bono a new gathering space for collective use, to be completed in the spring of 2019. a public site of exchange and conviviality, cloud shelter has a capacity of approximately 50 people, and is comprised of a basketball and baseball court, green spaces, a children’s playground, toilets, and a community house.
all images courtesy of didier fiúza faustino
the volunteer project, which will be carried out and financed by the foundation alumnos, will offer a new symbol of identity for the community, and an opportunity to make inhabitants’ lives more pleasant, offering a space to eat, rest, take refuge, converse, and to care for one another. the bright and open structure is though of as ‘a place suspended in time, with ones head in the clouds.’
‘conceived like the shell of a dasypodidae, commonly known as the armadillo, the structure of this architecture is comparable to a protective skin, ensuring the safety of the people in case of a natural disaster,’ describes didier fiúza faustino. ‘thanks to its elevated platform, people are protected from possible flooding, whereas the hammocks, which it shelters, provide dry refuge. they are mobile and may slide along the masts to meet the needs of the time. this particularity offers a clear open space when all of the hammocks are raised skywards, allowing the inhabitants to use the area and take up different activities.’
built out of prefabricated, reinforced concrete, cloud shelter features an openwork outer shell made of rhombus-shaped panels, which are formed like scales. the architectural envelope measures 24 by 18 meters, with a height of 9 meters and floor area of 140m2, and has been raised off the ground by 60 centimeters to safeguard the structure from possible flooding. a tubular pyramidal structure links the sequence of 4m x 4m masts, while suspended hammocks inside it are able to host six families of two adults and two children.