Palenque at Centro JVC | Morphosis

Palenque at Centro JVC | Morphosis | Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico | 1998-2007

“Since pre-Colombian times, palenques have traditionally accommodated the spectacle of pelea de gallos – cock fighting. Relatively recent changes in cultural attitudes have broadened the palenque’s role to as a performance and entertainment venue that hosts events such as concerts of musica ranchera (folk music) boxing matches, and public assemblies. The layered, adaptable, open-air arena makes three discrete transformations to accommodate a variety of event requirements. In the typical layout, reminiscent of ancient Mayan building structures, the lower seating of the arena carves into the earth to form an intimate stage for the gallos ritual. In this version, temporary hydraulic or lightweight steel structures can be erected over the small lower arena when necessary to expand the arena by two further incremental steps, for sporting events and stage performances. A disc and a folded plane intersect to form a hybrid roof that mimics the profile of the surrounding mountain range. The roof form peels away from the landscape becoming perceptual detached from the earth while the ellipsoid “fragment” hovers over the concert stage, as a vestige of the order below. The walkways, ramps, and stairs that orbit the arena link it with the other elements of the new cultural and commercial urban center at the edge of Guadalajara. The palenque integrates dynamically with the adjacent cluster of new buildings, the site, and the culture.”