Proyecto Río Santa Catarina

We as universities, have the challenge of becoming platforms from which we could launch projects with critical capacity and vision. The Santa Catarina River is one of the most important components of our metropolitan region. To manage the relationship between the River and City is a fundamental challenge to ensure the quality of life in the future Monterrey that we all want to have.

To recognize what already exists as the starting point of this project, is an important point I want to mark out. The Tabula Rasa, a blank paper, generates simplistic fictions that lead us to primitive realities, to an existing modernity, to another verification of ‘status quo’.

When Koolhaas goes along the Berlin Wall in his student period, in 1970, he writes in his notebook: “The wall is not only one, but many” [1] and he understands that what he analyzes is a unique piece of urban substance. It provides such a difference of conditions during its perimeter, that it would have been impossible for him to have previously designed it on a paper. And I’m sure it happened the same during this project along the river to many of you.

[1]Koolhaas y Mau, SMLXL.

To take advantage of the existing in order to build a new identity is to start where others ended their journey, a new step towards a new kind of modernity that the liberation of the architecture really needs.

To make the existing layer of the architectural substrate more complex and to add to it a new meaning, a new program that coexists with the preexistence, independently of its current condition, would suppose, at least, to make a dual architectural reality and consequently a metropolitan duality that will bring to the city freedom and electrifying situations.

The multidisciplinary project done among the programs of Architecture, Engineering in Sustainable Innovation and Energy and Industrial Design, develops a current, ethical and sustainable vision of the relationship between the river and the city.

Congratulations to all students for the experience and for the incredible level of expertise that have showed during the presentation that I had the joyness to attend. Special acknolegment to Peter Rowe, from Harvard University for his incredible commitment with our project, with our students and with our university. Acknolegment aswell and special thank you to the professors Roberto Passini and Patricio Ortiz, that have lead this workshop in Monterrey during this semester.