El Mangle

Lead Designer
Prize(s)2nd Place in Architecture Categories / Urban Design
Entry Description

El Mangle will be a “think and do” research campus focused on global reform of the fishing industry.

Located in La Paz, Mexico between the Sea of Cortez and the town’s oldest, neighborhood of fisherman, this brownfield redevelopment forms an important link between the past and future of the town’s western waterfront. The proposed design blends over forty structures and 80,000 square feet of space into a 6-acre campus while adaptively reusing nine existing buildings and the infrastructure from its industrial past.

Planning principles weave together the structures and open-air gathering places around strong pedestrian circulation corridors. The main corridor connects the fishing community to the beachfront and is aligned with the axis of winter and summer solstice sunsets.

At the site’s center, cultural arts programs to encourage interaction between the research, meeting and hospitality facilities will be housed into a repurposed 200 ft. tall silo. The silo’s plaza will serve as an open forum and host seminars and festivals to invite the exchange of ideas and solution-based dialogue about critical environmental and geopolitical issues. Surrounding the plaza will be a residential cluster, an academic quadrant and a working waterfront zone where the fisherman can interface with the public and sea.

Sustainability concepts drive the planning and architectural efforts to insure the project’s long-term relevance. Low water use and energy consumption will be achieved by constructing well-insulated, fortified concrete buildings to respond effectively to the arid climate.

The project’s architectural character juxtaposes the existing historic vernacular with contemporary architectural expression, executed in regional materials. The design for the meeting center showcases this relationship through its materiality and form. The project will re-engage and energize the town by serving as the necessary bridge between the sea and the people, establishing a cultural and climate appropriate solution at the “Corazon del Mangle”