2009

Centro de Aprendizaje

Tijuana, Mexico

Built

The city of Tijuana is in constant acceleration; it keeps pace with the increasing instensity of its inhabitants. This condition offers itself as a contrast for the Centro de Aprendizaje.

The aged wood facade bears no signs and no indication of what the building holds, rather it invites the curious visitor to find for himself a plaza inside. Here water pours slowly into a pool, calling the sun’s rays to dance on its surface. The light is reflected onto concrete walls that have the worn texture that is characteristic of time’s passage.

The journey continues to a corridor narrow enough for a single person. This creates an awareness of the building’s palette: light falling on the concrete walls, silence sharing the halls with mystery, and the sky above framed by the various volumes.

This path turns and leads to a standing body of water and a sunken garden. Suddenly the water bubbles, splashes over its edges and in seconds becomes still once again. Here the day seems to pause while the aralias continue to grow. Adjacent to this area is an expansive room with an archive of books. The glass walls slide open and invite the exterior to share in its space.

Light travels across the garden and finds an opening between two walls, where a step presents itself and offers its surface to one’s feet. Turning the corner, the steps lead up to an unknown space, darker than the rest, which holds the visitor until a wall swings open to a roof garden. Native succulents bask aside a gravel path leading to a deck surrounded by rosemary.

The day ends as one takes refuge in a room similar to a monk’s chamber. With little more than a writing surface and a space for books, the private retreat allows one to wait for another day of introspection and reflection.

Color Photos by Rebecca Wilson
Black and White Photos by Dario Alvarez

Centro de Aprendizaje