Conceived by Mexican artist Javier Marín in the middle of the Yucatan jungle in Mexico, ‘Plantel Matilde’ is a breathtaking educational and cultural project with environmental awareness, and place for introspection.
Sitting quietly in the vast landscapes of the Sac Chich community in the Yucatan region, the project forms part of the Javier Marín Foundation, a non-profit art association founded by the Mexican sculptor. Designed by Marín’s brother and architect Arcadio Marín primarily as Javier’s personal studio and gallery, the space functions as an arts center and laboratory for ideas, with multiple studios and accommodation for artists-in-residence. The architectural design has been developed around a square layout with concrete columns running along two walls, and narrow windows dotting the other two walls. The 10-meter high monolithic colonnades wrap around a reflective pool filled with tiny plants and stone paths; in the center, a small island conserves the original land and trees. Marín’s abstract sculptural works are positioned along the building’s open arcades; inside the corridors, decorative tables and stools fill the spaces.
The design draws from pre-Hispanic influences that echo the elements of church cloisters, Spanish and traditional hacienda courtyards. These details are embraced with a contemporary and non-ornamental appeal.