BCA Taller de Diseño was commissioned to intervene this space in the heart of the city of Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico. Located in José María Morelos and Miguel Barragán streets, the project’s main goal was to translate from architecture —following a strategy of minimal intervention and maximum use of resources and existing elements— the power that sets the pace of the artistic and cultural life of the area because of the presence of Universidad Veracruzana´s music faculty, and at the same time contributing to the reactivation of this down town sector and its nightlife with an offer directed to diverse music lovers.
This is the origin of CAUZ, a space that adapts to the pre-existence of a cafeteria (Flor Catorce) from the area that, under an eclectic and hybrid environment, has established itself as the community´s reference point during the day. Intervened in a first expansion, the office contributed to designing new areas for the restaurant connected with interior gardens, a new library that functions as access and another one inside with the flexibility to run as a restaurant, bookshop and concert forum with capacity to hold up to fifty people.
The design proposal lies mainly on respecting the characteristic elements in the interior, the personality of the existing cafe and the mansion that holds it. To the outside, maintaining the rigor of preserving the integrity of the façade without increasing the levels or modifying the elements of the local architectural language and, above all, ensuring that the intervention is carried out with high standards of sound isolation making sure that would allow, on one hand, guarantee the sound quality during the musical performance and on the other avoiding discomfort to the neighbors.
The result reached by architects Francisco Champion, Beatriz Bello, Carlos Carreño and their team, has three fully resolved characteristics: developing a flexible project with the capacity to operate efficiently with diverse uses; achieving a maximum constructive effectiveness with very discreet intervention and contributing from a contemporary language to set in value an architecture able to give back to the city many more years.
- Architect: Carlos Carreño, Francisco Champion, Beatriz Bello / BCA Taller de Diseño
- Photographer: Marcos Betanzos