PRODUCTORA inserts a series of circular elements attached to building facades along Washington Street, allowing pedestrians a place of rest along the street in an unexpected moment of beauty. Each element interacts in a different way with the surrounding context, highlighting unique narratives of the social and spatial history of the streetscape. This work fits into the larger themes that PRODUCTORA explores using specific architectural interventions to re-define, re-organize, and give new meaning to the surrounding context.
PRODUCTORA is a Mexico City based architectural studio led by Abel Perles, Carlos Bedoya, Victor Jaime and Wonne Ickx. Their work is distinguished by an interest in precise geometries, the production of clearly legible projects with limited gestures and the search for timeless buildings in their material and programmatic resolutions. Following a career path that is unique in the Mexican context, the studio’s work connects with international currents without losing sight of the local tradition. PRODUCTORA frequently operates between the realms of architecture, contemporary art, and design. Their research often considers how design should not only attempt to resolve difficulties, but to create architecture as difficulty; architecture imagined as a sort of detour.
MANIERA, a Brussels-based gallery founded in 2014 by Amaryllis Jacobs and Kwinten Lavigne, commissions architects and artists to develop limited edition furniture series. As architects often have a close relationship with the visual arts and artists are often inspired by the spatial environment, MANIERA crystallizes these proximities into new design proposals. More than just furniture, the objects issued by MANIERA are a deliberate search for collisions between the realms of architecture, design, and art.
Material and Fabrication
Mexico City-based Productora worked with M Concrete, a family-run fabrication firm in Dayton, Ohio, to make Columbus Circles a reality. Guided by Juan Benevides of Productora, M Concrete made a series of material tests to fine-tune the scale, color, and texture of the objects to complement elements of the five Washington Street sites. Since each “Circle” intersects with the built environment in a different way, the M Concrete team visited Columbus several times to make precise measurements and fit foam templates. The concrete and aggregate cylinders were cast using sonotubes, a product usually used to form structural concrete columns. The three-inch-thick walls of each cylinder were then polished down a quarter of an inch to reveal the embedded aggregate, creating a terrazzo-like finish. The mirror-polished brass and stainless steel tops, produced by a Dayton fabricator, were fastened to the concrete cylinders, creating a narrow reveal between materials.