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Centro Comunitario Plantando Semillas

Taller ACÁ

Guatemala City, Guatemala, Guatemala

August 2023


Jorge Villatoro (Lead Architect), Hans Schwarz Bassila (Lead Architect)


Luis Pedro García-Salas (Architect), Carlos Mendizábal (Construction Management), Andrea Guisandes (Architect), William Cuc (Architect)


Maclane Philips - Planting Seeds International’s Executive Director


William Cuc


Through participatory workshops, different aspects were explored: from understanding the characteristics of the area and mapping areas with potential and vulnerability to defining user profiles, programmatic needs, and material selection. The design evolved through three essential phases: Knowing, in which the context was understood; Designing, in which spaces were shaped and key elements were defined; and Validating, in which the proposals were confirmed.

Its brick architecture, volumetry, and spaces adapt to the morphology of the terrain, and the structure of the building encompasses a multifunctional program of different mezzanines. The first one houses a small office next to a versatile space that adapts to various activities. On the second level, there is a classroom, a dance room, and a playroom, designed to enrich the educational and recreational experience. The third level contains a multi-purpose court, providing a space for sports and social activities.

The choice of materials was a collective decision. The combination of clay brick, concrete, and the color green was determined in conjunction with the community. The brick, a local material, stood out for its durability, low cost, and minimal maintenance requirements. The expanded metal sheet, on the other hand, facilitates ventilation on the upper level and takes advantage of panoramic views of the sports court.


Embedded within an informal setting adjacent to Guatemala City's municipal landfill, emerges a human-centric initiative championed by Planting Seeds International, aimed at environmental transformation. It serves as a dignified space envisioned for community families to thrive and evolve.


The project's profound impact emanates from the community's profound sense of ownership, fostering a deep-rooted connection to the Community Center. This sense of ownership transforms the center from a mere structure into a vibrant symbol of communal unity, knowledge dissemination, and societal advancement, showcasing the transformative potential of architecture beyond its tangible utility.

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