Santuaria Muxbal: A Community Center

Santuaria Muxbal is a 350-home planned community outside Guatemala City. In consideration of poor traffic conditions and security concerns, the intention for the community center component of the project is to provide an accessible and protected gathering place for use by the residents. The anticipated community includes multi-generational families with children of all ages, and the Center is envisioned to serve temporal and diverse programming. During the day there will be exercise, water play, and arts classes for children, in the evenings the facilities will become more adult-focused with flexible studios and a terrace-cafe. A convenience store and plaza for a periodic farmer's market provides residents with necessary provisions. Additionally, the place invites weddings, theatre, and a range of other occasions, with a forest ampitheater, an intimate orchard and an entry plaza focused around a large, existing tree.

The location of the Center at the entrance to the development site and the mild micro-climate with frequent rains influenced the Big Roof concept for the project. The translucent roof appears prominently juxtaposed against a beautiful, heavily wooded hillside above two gorges. The roof provides spatial coherence and continuous shelter for the variety of facilities and programs that are housed underneath.