Tadao Ando’s Casa Wabi is joined by a new orchid pavilion

The studio Centro de Colaboración Arquitectónica designed for the Mexican art institute a small wooden architecture capable of recreating the microclimate suitable for the growth of flowers.

Mexican architecture firm Centro de Colaboración Arquitectónica has created a wooden pavilion for Casa Wabi, the arts institute that annually commissions an architectural pavilion on the grounds surrounding the Tadao Ando-designed center. Located just outside Puerto Escondido, Mexico, The Orchid Pavilion is a simple wooden structure that serves as a canopy for a walkway embedded in the pink-colored ground, with benches along the sides and gravel in the spaces between the slabs.

Centro de Colaboración Arquitectónica, The Orchid Pavilion, Puerto Escondito, Mexico, 2024. Photo Rafael Gamo

However, the small architecture has studied in its composition some elements to collect water and to create a microclimate within it suitable for growing orchids.  In fact, to create a humid environment, the studio inserted clay pools along the apex of the structure, with bowls open to the sky to collect rain that then seeps into the space below to create a drip irrigation system.

Along the walkway, holes have been left open, exposing the gravel below, so that water can drip into the space and evaporate, supporting the life inside. At the end of the walkway, opposite the stairs, a small basin with a spigot was installed for visitors to drink from, next to the orchids.

A series of pots hanging from the rafters of the structure then holds orchids, sourced locally. The firm said it wanted to combine Japanese sensibilities with the work of local artisans using local materials. “First, the pavilion is a simple and austere machine,” CCA said. “The breeze and warmth allow the orchids to drink water directly from the environment, eliminating the need to manually water the specimens.”

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