laTren / elNodo is a cultural and training facility that aspires to be a mediating hub between disintegrated, disconnected and marginalized neighborhoods in the city of Saltillo. The project is based on a participatory concept that is open to direct proposals from citizens, which sets it apart from traditional institution-run cultural centers.
The ultimate goal of the project is to provide the people from the surrounding areas and local cultural collectives with the necessary tools for independent production, along with ongoing advice (logistical and financial) to help them carry out their proposals.
The sociocultural processes that have been developed in creating laTren, follow a fixed actuation model based on the sharing of knowledge and the active partecipation of all partakeres.
For laTren's team exist a direct link between the improvements and cultural processes in the neighborhoods and the social development of the communities in which they are deployed. This linkage and collaboration was the primary basis of the entire project, and may be said that each of the screws placed in the center had a social engagement. Therefore, from the outset, we worked on the idea that we should not be the ones who interpret what content or infrastructure we had to develop, but those decisions should be taken by the residents and the collectives who would live with the center. However, we were also aware that, according to Eduardo Vazquez, -"no one can desire what he don't know" -.
During the first stage of construction, work was carried out simultaneously on two fronts: on one hand, the builders prepared the site with a gravel base for drainage and reinforced concrete paving, as well as positioning recycled concrete sleepers as foundations for the containers. At the same time, following a short course in basic carpentry skills, the team of young locals set up the triangular roof sandwich panels of OSB, pine slats and polystyrene foam.
Saltillo is located in the north of Mexico, in a predominantly desert area with an irregular rainfall pattern that translates into substantial rains in the summer months, which coincide with the hurricane season in the Gulf, and very little rainfall the rest of the year. Temperatures are hot in spring and autumn, extremely hot in summer – when the midday sun is almost directly overhead – and cold in the short winter months.
Description: Re-connecting the neighborhoods by learning together.
Category: public & culture
Design: A.C.elNodo, Ctrl+Z, Straddle3, lamatraKa
Consultants: Manuel Rodríguez (Urbanist), Alejandro Espinoza “El Panda” (Social Mediator), Jordi Granada (Structures) y Michele Pecoraro (NoSoloPaja) for the auto-construction workshop, as well as numerous local Students and Collectives*
Building status: in use
Construction period: 2010-2011
Location: Saltillo, Mexico
Coordinates: 25°25'15.9'' N, 101°0'49.8'' W
Tags: community development, hands-on, community participation, recycled recources, empowerment
Project ID: 188
Published: 6 January 2012
Last updated: 22 March 2013
(images have individual licenses)