The Cosmic Egg will facilitate performance art, showcases, talks and conferences, with an aim to provide a place for learning and healing when events are not happening. Geodesic domes are seemingly popular forms, however Andrew Pollendine’s design creates a structure that brings a unique interpretation of this kind of stretched, elevated shape, with the use of the Greek style stage and seating area at its core and space in the ground-basement for housing of those visiting the area.
By not dominating the skyline, but still becoming a welcome addition to the surrounding local community and town, there is enough reason for artists and intellectuals to thrive alongside new tourism brought together by the eco-village that is being created on the steppes below the Cultural Center of La Semilla de los Ingenios. The landscaping path that is proposed, allows for flexibility in the later expansion of the development.
Using a passive cooling strategy, the architect employed an informed approach, resolved climate issues with the design and integrated a strong relation to the existing site, from the reference to the traditional Maya House, to use of local building materials and techniques, to the design orientation (use of natural sun light with small open apertures).
The building allows artists to showcase their work, either by hanging from the roof or on the walls of the main and basement floor. With the heavy wind and hurricane weather that occurs in the rainy season in Pacific Mexico, the geodesic formation of the shell and the partially submerged base create a well defined outline for the Cultural Center of La Semilla de los Ingenios.
The floor and walls create thermal mass, regulating the temperature and the thatch roof provides shelter from direct sun and rain. The building also breathes allowing heat build-up to disperse.
Provision for on-site power generation has been considered as part of the landscaping.
The basement accommodation is located on the outer face to enable natural daylight/ventilation within the deeply set slot windows, reducing the reliance on mechanical/electrical provision. Above, at ground level the main auditorium space provides raked seating focused on the multi-use performance space in the center.
The structure uses locally sourced timber with steel flitch plate connections. The elegant structure naturally uses less material to form the enclosure; timber boarding on the outside provides further rigidity. Small open apertures on the southern face track the suns path throughout the day, creating poetic rays of lights, constantly changing on the performance space below.
The bottom row of panels can open to provide, light, cross ventilation and aid the stack effect. The apex of the roof has a ventilation slot to release the hot air and pull fresh cooler air through the building. The structure adapts the traditional palapa roof typology; forming a passive cooling meeting place.