An installation conceived as a portal activated by city dwellers and the everyday stimuli of Mexico City.
Alfredo Hernandez (Project Manager)
Arie Willem de Jongh (Computational Design)
Andrea León (Office Manager)
Cynthia Cárdenas (Marketing)
Nescafé commissioned eight artists (Rojkind Arquitectos, Francisco Serrano, Mario Schjetnan, Bernardo Gómez-Pimienta, Fernanda Canales, Manuel Cervantes, Alejandro Quintanilla, and Alejandro Castro) to develop site-specific installations on Paseo de la Reforma, one of the city’s most important avenues, with the basic requirement of utilizing a maximum of 1,500 metal coffee mugs.
Portal of Awareness combines a common everyday object, the mug, with a common architectural construction material, steel rebar. The rebar, configured as a mesh, is used as the primary structure for the mugs, which are then mechanically attached to it. The mesh is woven from 41 main arches, ranging in length from 10 to 12 meters, intersected by two additional layers of 56 diagonals each, creating 1,497 nodes where the mugs reside.
The final shape of the portal, along with the different colors of the mugs selected, reinforce the sense of movement of the piece, which is a key conceptual aspect of the project. The steel planters anchor the structure to the ground and allow the vines to grow between the rebar. Over time, the outside of the structure will be covered in green foliage while the inside will continue to display the gradient of the mug’s chromatics. The mesh’s shadow, that shifts throughout the day, casted onto the sidewalk adds an extra layer to the project. This installation was in place during the winter months of 2012, providing a space of expression and interaction in the public realm.