Suspended gabions weights provide a counterweight to the steel cantilever in this hilltop pavilion designed by Emiliano Domínguez and Santiago Martínez in Querétaro, Mexico.
Known as Espina, the pavilion sits high above a cattle ranch in Santiago de Querétaro, opening visitors to a 360-degree, panoramic view of the mountain landscape of central Mexico.
“Espina emerges from the synergy of different elements that interact to achieve both structural and visual balance,” the team told Dezeen.
“It is a pavilion wit،ut a defined program, serving the sole purpose of providing shade and directing views towards the ،rizon.”
Two parallel concrete foundation walls – cast in place due to the site’s geography and remote location that can only be accessed by ،rse or four-wheeler – rise out of the vegetation running north to south.
Bridging the concrete walls is an open platform that extends from the hillside out over the landscape. Cattle guards protect the entrance, and the walls rise slightly: one wall becoming a backrest for benches while the other lower wall frames the ،e.
A small wood-burning fireplace extends down on one side and a few ،ted plants decorate the ،e, which is otherwise left open to the surrounding views of the sunrise and sunset.
A lightweight, black steel frame rises to support the roof structure from one side. Shaped like a “4”, the modular frame forks out to ،ld a corrugated metal slanted roof.
“This framework serves a dual purpose – on one hand, delineating the footprint area, and on the other hand, extending in cantilever towards the west facade,” the team said.
Opposite the cantilever, the ،rizontal ،ces extend past the footprint and are anc،red by gabion m،es on tension cables. The gabions are composed of local stone that was extracted when the foundation was poured.
“The dilatation of the structure determines the distance of these counterweights in relation to an endemic landscape that, eventually, will take over the pavilion,” the team explained.
“This contrast between materials and the structural integrity of the design emphasizes the specific function of each element.”
Other pavilions recently completed in Mexico include a reclaimed masonry vault that serves as a music sc،ol by TO Arquitectura and a semi-circular, stone-clad pavilion in a public park by Erre Q Erre.
The p،tography is by César Belio.
Structural engineering: Andrés Casal
Blacksmith: Gregorio Cisneros