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Museo de Geología en Progreso

Estudio MMX

Progreso, Yucatán, Mexico

August 2022


Diego Ricalde Recchia (Founding Partner)


Fernanda Hinojosa (Architect designer), Lorena Núñez (Architect designer), Alfonsina Rosas (Architect designer)


SEDATU – Rep. Silvia Elisa Chi Cervera


Dane Alonso


Located close to the seaport of Progreso, the museum is composed and organized by a set of volumes of different heights, which operate both individually and collectively, creating living spaces inside and generating a terraced-landscaped roof that can be traversed diagonally.
The plaza, that previously occupied the site, is transformed and reorganized on the sides of a central corridor that crosses the project from north to south, and through which it is possible to access both the interior spaces and reach the seafront walkway.
In addition to the public spirit of the project, the museum program is divided into exterior and interior exhibition spaces. The public gardens and courtyards contain part of the museum experience, while the interior exhibitions take place in a set of prisms; eight volumes that can be subdivided according to the requirements of each exhibition. The museum's cafeteria and workshops are independent and open to the public to serve the entire plaza, thus connecting the different activities enhanced by the project and linking the building with the daily urban dynamics.
The volumes and their arrangement generate a grid of public corridors accompanied by light, shadow and vegetation, rich experiences that evokes ideas of Mayan architecture together with the colonial heritage of the urban layout. The materiality of the museum, covered entirely in chukum ensures its durability and low maintenance cost.
The museum consciously synthesizes local Mayan learnings with contemporary architectural approaches, thus generating a new public space, identifiable and appropriable for the people of Progreso.


Yucatán Peninsula, a geological formation that results from the meteorite impact 66 million years ago, is a rural but rich part of the country, both in nature and history. The beaches of this area are world famous, as well as its cenotes, its jungles, its archaeology and its activities for visitors.
Within this context, and framed by its natural and cultural richness, is the town of Progreso, once the entry port of the peninsula, now a “small” coastal town, dedicated to leisure, holidays, fishing and tourism.
The site, where the museum is located, is on the sea front and close to one of the most important docks of the city. It is a place, located at the intersection of the seafront walkway and different main roads, which combines the flows of local pedestrians, tourists and vehicular traffic.
Previously, on the site, there was an open and hard square, with a forum but without any shaded spaces, for local people to celebrate civic and recreational activities (in the evening). The main objective of the project for the museum was to preserve the qualities of the open space and the plaza, allowing for the continuation of social gatherings, but providing them more comfortable and proper conditions, shading the spaces and them suitable for resting, gathering, cultural and social activities at any time during the day.


Besides honoring the history of Progreso and giving social space to a historical event of worldwide importance, such as the meteorite impact that extinguished the dinosaurs, the museum is part of the contemporary urban elements that contribute to the settlement of the city's urban present.
The new place not only hosts the activities that could be held in the previous open plaza, but also incorporates important cultural and civic programs that are changing the urban life of the site. The new urban dynamic, triggered by the museum, is extending spatially to the blocks nearby and has modified the permanence in this area of the city: Now, the evenings in front of the seafront walkway, are accompanied by protected and public spaces that complement the daily activities on the beach.
The environmental performance of the building relies, mainly, on passive strategies. Despite the site’s weather conditions and the fact that the project did not respect the mechanical specifications of the architectural project, the design of the building, its materiality, its massing and its composition, have achieved different comfortable atmospheres to provide livable, public and comfortable spaces throughout the year by creating shadows and fostering natural air flows.
A city only for local tourist due to its closeness to Merida, is now a spot pondered as an international cultural tourist site with a museum, a meeting place an observation point and a public space that continue consolidating Progreso as a collective town.

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