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Maria’s Carnival Machine

Arturo Rodriguez Lopez submitted Maria’s Carnival Machine for the Portfolio Challenge, in which he seeks to create a new sustainable environment for the Carnival in Ponce, Puerto Rico. He delineates different sustainable materials from nearby sources to make sure that all materials are not negatively impacting the environment and town.

Arturo Rodriguez Lopez, one of our rising stars in the Architect-US Job+J1 Visa Programsubmitted Maria’s Carnival Machine for the Portfolio Challenge. In this project, Lopez seeks to create a new sustainable environment in which the Carnival in Ponce, Puerto Rico can take place, especially after the negative impact of Hurricane Maria.

Lopez states that the reconstruction of the city has been progressive, first it was thanks to international aid, especially from the US, which not only sent food but also construction materials like steel and treated wood for reconstruction. Also after the Hurricane passed about 32 Million trees were pulled by the wind. At the Bayaney sawmill they began to collect wood to take advantage of it, this initiative began to work as not only cleaned the areas but also allowed the people to use the wood for the restoration of some buildings. This initiative was extended to 4 sawmills around Puerto Rico. This is the wood that is going to be used for the project.
The city was recovering and claiming the return of tourism that has not yet reached Ponce as it was happening to San Juan. The city of Ponce is a Spanish Colonial city but its main tourist attraction has always been its carnival. Maria’s Carnival Machine proposes to recover this festivity and it offers spaces for the artisans who have lost their workplaces after the catastrophe a space to continue developing their professional activity.A carnival that has great fame and history being the most famous of the Caribbean and turning its Vejigantes into symbols of the Island, and its artisans into recognized masters all over the world.
For that reason location is essential for the construction of this museum, I’ve chosen a plot in the main street of the carnival, near the Plaza de las Bombas, and in the same street where the other Ponce museums are located. Sustainability, tradition, entertainment, tourism, work and circular economy are the points on which the project is based.
On the Ground floor we can find different accesses that make the building permeable to the outside, we can see spaces of workshops for tourists, supported by urban scenarios that allow the representation during the year of carnival scenes, workshop areas, both for marks, costumes and floats and service area located in the center. On the upper floor we find the gallery of the museum, a closed and air-conditioned space for the correct maintenance of the exhibited works.
The construction is understood as a way to offer work to the Poncenos , so it is based on a modular construction and for low-skilled labor, the module is built with wood of small dimensions, since it is what can be recovered from the wet and damaged. These modules are joined together with metal tubular profiles, which reinforce this wood in the sections of the frames with the highest moment of inertia. With these unions we will create 4 types of porticos.
To sum up, a sustainable project from its conception, a building that dialogues with its environment, both in its construction process and in its useful life and which aims to bring together the culture of the city, its people and invite tourist to get to know Ponce and its carnival in a different way.

Lopez finished his Masters degree in Architecture from Universidad CEU San Pablo in 2018, and was able to experience the architectural world in Bangkok in 2015 with Silpakorn University and Tunghai University.

Arturo Rodriguez Lopez used AutoCAD and Rhino to create this incredible work.

Images by Arturo Rodriguez Lopez

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