CHIHUAHA – Students from the Instituto Superior De Arquitectura in Chihuahua, Mexico have designed the Urban SPA, a small interactive infrastructure at Parque Urueta in the city centre. The project is part of the annual summer workshop called Taller Del Desierto which is created by the university and active city agents. The aim of this venture is to bring the community together, with students creating a space that the public can enjoy. Projects get selected based on the ideas and consensus of the neighbourhood and, for this year, the main idea was centred on the abandoned water source in the park. The students worked with professional mentors to cultivate the project, gaining guidance from Madrid architects PKMN, Mexican design duo Memela, Designer Miguel Garcia and architects Juan Castillo and Miguel Heredia the project was cultivated.
The Urban SPA is built as a temporary amenity based on the recreational use of water. The project is made from a series of wooden surfaces which transform the unused fountain into a flourishing public space. The bathing decks are multipurpose allowing for seating areas, resting spots and sun-beds, as well as a small garden with a ramp providing accessibility for everyone. In addition to the deck surface surrounding the fountain, nine large scaffolding towers encircle the water source providing shade and giving the overall design an industrial look. The towers hold some hammocks, small viewpoints and a resting platform making them dynamic and interactive. The project takes advantage of its location within the park and boosts the already existing activities such as Zumba and yoga, due to its centralised spot. The project was designed in one week and then assembled in another by the students and community members. The Urban SPA is the ideal representation of interactive architecture which not only rejuvenates a space but also successfully unites a neighbourhood.