permanent pavilion along the Ecoducto, Mexico City, 2018


The PABELLON DEL AGUA is a rather conventional metal structure framing a deck suspended 3 meters above the street level. The covered space below the deck hosts a bunch of independent objects made of bricks. At the upper level, an 80 m2 free-plan space expands into an enclosed garden. The two levels are connected by a spiral staircase occupying a central position. Its blue-tiled cylindrical volume is the only object that perforates the deck.


The PABELLON DEL AGUA is a bold and realistic proposal both in terms of budget, technical feasibility and use: no detail sophistication, no formal or structural virtuosity are implied, but the attempt to produce the most generous collective space. Its full capacity can be reached through steps of progressive occupation: it can start as a simple terrace, and then sectors of it can be closed and become parts of a large room. The room can be easily subdivided to host more activities at the same time, or perform as a whole exhibition space with a continuous circulation.


Rather than trying to reconnect to the city, the PABELLON DEL AGUA reinforces a condition of detachment, providing an intimate and contemplative place just in the middle of the metropolitan chaos. The relationship with the Ecoducto is both visual and emotional: the permeability of the ground floor ensures a visual connection and an uninterrupted experience of the ecological path. The fragment of nature trapped above the concrete island becomes the place for radical experimentation waiting for the new urban Robinson Crusoe.


international competition

in collaboration with: Juan Benavides

client: Arquine

team: Chiara Crisà

surface: 90 sqm

photos: Louis De Belle


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Corso Sempione, 33
20145 Milano, I

Salottobuono is an architectural office run by Matteo Ghidoni in Milan. Salottobuono has served as editor of the “Instructions and Manuals” section of Abitare magazine (2007-10) and as creative director of Domus magazine (2011, 2012). The office has taken part in the Venice Biennale (2008, 2012, 2014), and designed the Italian Pavilion in 2010. Salottobuono published the “Manual of Decolonization” (2010) and “Fundamental Acts” (2016).


Matteo Ghidoni – architect – was a founding partner of the research agency Multiplicity from 2002 to 2006. His work with Multiplicity was exhibited at Kunstwerke in Berlin (2003), the Venice Biennale (2003), the Musée d’art moderne in Paris (2003), the ZKM in Karlsruhe (2004) and the Beijing Biennial (2004). Ghidoni founded the architectural office Salottobuono in 2005. He has been a guest professor at the Istituto Universitario d’Architettura di Venezia (Venice) in the Faculty of Architecture, the Politecnico in Milan, the Royal Danish Academy of Arts in Copenhagen and the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotà. He has given guest lectures at several schools and institutions including the Berlage Institute, Berkeley, and Columbia University. Ghidoni is co-founder and editor in chief of San Rocco, an independent international publication about architecture (www.sanrocco.info).