top of page




Rozana Montiel Estudio de Arquitectura

Iztapalapa, Mexico City, Mexico

December, 2021


Rozana Montiel Saucedo (Founder and Director / Author of the project)


Adriana Rodriguez (Architect at Rozana Montiel Estudio de Arquitectura), Margherita Vegro (Architect at Rozana Montiel Estudio de Arquitectura), Estudio OME (Hortense Blanchard and Susana Rojas Saviñón) (Landscape Design)


Gobierno de la Ciudad de México (Secretaria de Obras y Servicios) (Alan Juárez)


Sandra Pereznieto


The program includes a cyber school, arts and crafts workshops (serigraphy, jewelry, plumbing and gastronomy), sports facilities, a dance and yoga room, a vegetable garden, and rooms for entrepreneurship and job training. In the attempt to generate abundance from scarcity, only two materials were used: striated blocks and concrete tiles in a reddish tone and steel profiles in the same color palette. This materiality brings an iconic identity to the site and produces a series of textures of light and shadow that create an interpretation of the space in different layers and depths. Concrete is re-signified in different expressions to produce lattices that ventilate and tiles with changes of texture in the pavement. The creative use of this material allows a multilayered reading of the space: for example, the depression of a patio that functions as a forum also serves as a bench or as a meeting place. The architectural program distributes the forums and halls over two floors that are interconnected by a system of platforms, landscaped courtyards, bridges and corridors. The sequence of spaces maintains its connection with the exterior and some of them open or close completely thanks to a system of adaptable partitions. The materiality and proportion of the building spaces produce a formative and pleasant atmosphere that reactivates and strengthens the social fabric of the neighborhood.


PILARES (for its acronym: Points of Innovation, Freedom, Art, Education and Knowledge) is an urban project of social impact developed by the Government of Mexico City that aims to generate community centers for citizen encounters. The PILARES are strategically distributed in vulnerable areas of the city that lack cultural infrastructure. Our project is located in the Colonia Presidentes de México, Iztapalapa, one of the most densely populated municipalities in the city. Since this area lacks open spaces, sports facilities, parks, plazas and gardens, PILARES was designed as a public, inclusive and multifunctional space that replaces the idea of barriers for meeting platforms. The main entrance is a fundamental part of the project as it connects the community center with the street activity through a green plaza delimited by an open sequence of columns that invites people to enter and inhabit the space. PILARES seeks to become a recreational cultural oasis that, despite being located on a very small site and in an area of insecurity, its interior experience gives the sensation of openness and diversity of spaces.


PILARES has demonstrated exceptional performance throughout its initial period of use, meeting and exceeding expectations on multiple fronts. Primarily targeted at individuals in the Colonia Presidentes de México and neighboring areas, including those facing educational abandonment, illiteracy, or vulnerability, PILARES has become a lively center of extracurricular courses with over 99 activities weekly engagements directed to children, youth, and adults. Notably, it has seamlessly adapted to serve as temporary space for a local kindergarten affected by a seismic event, illustrating its flexibility and community-centric ethos.

One of the project's standout achievements is its role in facilitating access to education, evidenced by the provision of preparation courses for entry into UNAM, Mexico's prestigious public university. This exemplifies how PILARES has not only met but also exceeded expectations by empowering individuals to pursue higher education and economic opportunities.

Moreover, PILARES has become a focal point for community engagement, hosting festivals and events in its courtyard, cultivating a sense of belonging and unity among residents. The secure and open plaza has become a gathering space for various cultural celebrations, further enriching the social fabric of the neighborhood.

The project's success can be attributed to its seamless integration within the community, aligning closely with local needs and aspirations. Its architectural design has not only provided functional spaces but also inspired aspirations, with reports indicating that visitors have been motivated to pursue careers in architecture.

bottom of page