The Tuxtla Gutiérrez Children’s Museum was conceived with the purpose of creating a project to detonate the social and cultural advance of the children in the capital city of Chiapas state, in southeastern Mexico. Although Chiapas is one of the states with the biggest cultural offer, it faces many challenges regarding education and economy.
With these premises, the task of carrying out a Children's Museum seemed complicated, however, the State Government supported the project due to a particular feature, the building would be a regional Children's Museum. It means that all its contents, teachings and didactic material would be strictly related to the culture of the state and would open its doors to all child visitors free of charge.
The Tuxtla Gutiérrez Children's Museum is a sustainable project, with a great social impact and a unique architecture, which is based on the reinterpretation of the orography of Chiapas, characterized by its numerous elevations and valleys. The concept behind the project was the Sumidero Canyon, a natural landmark of Chiapas which is referenced through an irregular geometry, with foldings that evoke the movement and majesty of the canyon.
The building is divided in two levels, with a “horseshoe” shaped floorplan, surrounding a central park which is open to the community; serving as a public space to generate children's interaction. The ground floor it is divided into, an access plaza, ticket office, auditorium with a capacity of 105 people, retail space, cafeteria, employees area, storage, workshops, nursing room, cloakroom and restrooms. The top floor includes permanent exhibition halls, 2 workshops, terrace for events, and administrative offices.
Each of the exhibition halls was adopted by a Secretariat of the State Government, guaranteeing the maintenance of the contents and their activities. Retail spaces were included in the program of the building to ensure the maintenance of public areas through their rental.
Despite its unique aesthetics, the building reduced costs by making efficient use of local materials such as stone slabs of the region and expanded metal sheets. The use of eco-technologies was integrated, such as rainwater collection and a double façade, which acts as an element of solar protection and at the same time allows the entry of lighting and natural ventilation, reduce energy consumption.
The Children's Museum is an integral project with the aim of promoting values in the Chiapas childhood through didactic activities; as well as promoting respect towards the natural and cultural biodiversity of the entity, seeking to create an experience in favor of meaningful learning.