November 6, 2011
by fosco lucarelli
A project for a Center for Applied Computer Research and Programming in Las Promesas, near Mexico City, published in the May 1975 number of Domus
The floating pavilions are free to move on an artificial lake to configure always different working areas.
Solar collecting walls display computer generated texts, while special purposed machines produce vapor clouds and rainbows.
Here’s an excerpt from the Encyclopedia of energy-efficient building design:
“The client needs in this project stipulated the need for a flexible plan, which could be changed according to intrinsic requirements of projects at hand.
The building is situated on a landfill lagoon. Incorporated into the plan is an extensive water basin, which is constantly draining the lagoon to solve foundation problems. The office spaces are designed as barges that float until positioned where needed. Once paced, a watertight compartment is filled, and the barge comes to rest on the basin floor. Two large walls surround the site, one of which is inclined and acts as a solar energy gathering surface. Electric energy is obtained through a heliovoltaic process and stored in batteries at the power plant to supply power to the computer center.
Part of the center is housed under a huge platform, over which hovers a cloud, conceived as an architectural element, which serves to replenish the basin’s evaporated water and to cool the building’s exterior. This ever chaning mass of cold water mist is generated by highly pressurized water as it is expelled through expecially designed nozzles. The cloud is fed by water, pumped by windmills and stored in conical tanks that are traditionally used in the region as silos. This water is also used to satisfy all of the develoment’s water needs, and to irrigate its extensive plantings.”