Fundamental Design Build Initiative, Inc Foundation is listed by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) non-profit. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Tax ID: 84-3750274
We are a group of NYC architecture students working on the The Teatro Estacion Cultural project as a part of FUNdaMENTAL, a non-profit organization run by the award-winning architecture firm Taller Ken. This year we’ve all partnered with The Tapachula Cultural Station Collective to build an open air theater to support locals and migrants in Tapachula, Mexico.
We will be going to Tapachula to build the project ourselves with the help of local students and community members.
The funding we receive will cover:
1. Building Materials:
a. $30 FUNds a can of Paint (need 20)
b. $100 FUNds a component of theater Scaffolding (need 20)
c. $2,000 FUNds a Swing set (need 1)
d. $3,000 FUNds Stepped Seating (Need 3)
e. $5,000 FUNds the Pila and Rainwater Collection System
2. Educational Materials:
a. $50 FUNds an Educational Planter & Sign (need 20)
b. $250 FUNds a library unit (need 8)
a. $5 FUNds a box of screws (need 100)
b. $25 FUNds Tools (drills, saws, screwdrivers, wrenches, etc...) (need 80)
4. Specialty, Student & Local Labor:
a. $500 FUNds an Architecture Student (need 10)
b. $1,000 FUNds additional local labor for the summer (need 5)
c. $2000 FUNds Specialty Labor (need 3)
Tapachula is on the border between Guatemala and Mexico. Thousands of migrants flee their home countries and enter over the border each year. Typically, Tapachula wouldn’t be their final destination, but because of pressures from America, the Mexican government has put measures in place preventing migrants from moving on. Many of these families find themselves stuck - homeless, without access to food, healthcare, or education for their children. Teatro Estacion Cultural is intended to be a multi-functional space designed to specifically address the dynamic needs of the locals, migrants, and children who attend the cultural center.
Estacion Cultural was developed to help heal the rift that had formed between the struggling local community and the growing homeless migrant community. For the last two years a small group of passionate locals called The Tapachula Cultural Station Collective, restored and maintained the station on their own with little resources. It has become a space where locals and migrants alike are given an outlet for cultural expression and freedom through theater, dance, and arts education. They host local theater, folkloric dance groups, book talks, art classes, gardening workshops, and even conversations on poetry. Over the last two years a strong community has sprung up around Estacion Culteral, ranging from 6 to 50 years old. Having this community helps keep local and migrant children occupied and out of harms way especially now that all the schools have been shut down.
In order to create a welcoming swath of shade, and support the variety of Estacion Cultural’s organizational activities we have designed a space-frame system, which will extend over the west side of the building. Included in the structure will be space for cultural expression, educational activities, play, and a rainwater filtration system which feeds into a pila, perfect for washing clothes and hands.
The old train platform will become the stage, equipped with space for a set, and a scaffolding to hang lights and a projector.
Theater helps heal cultural divides by asking participants to literally put themselves in someone else’s shoes. It is a place of passive and active learning, and has been shown to increase oral communication, creative problem solving, cooperation, healthy self-image, and be an outlet for trauma. Through the lens of acting, dance, song, and design theater can open a participants mind to new worlds and schools of thought, such as those of Carlos Fuentas, Jean Paul Sartre, Louis Carrol, & Miguel de Cervantes.
The terraced seating was chosen because of its multifunctionality, perfect for viewing performances, displaying art, impromptu public announcements, sitting down to chat with a friend, or even sleeping when there are no other options.
The Library & Garden
Inside the building will be a small library, with a collection of Spanish language scripts and performance books for all ages and from a variety of cultures. Throughout the structure will be a series of labeled planters, designed to complement their community garden and workshops.
In order to support the continued social, physical, and cognitive development of the migrant and local children, the entire frame hosts a climbable infrastructure for play, morphing into a traditional playground as it dissolves into the garden out back.