Miguel Ángel Yunes Márquez, the then-mayor of Boca del Río, started the Boca del Río Philharmonic Orchestra in 2014, and that has since become the heart of the cultural life in the city. The then-mayor asked to design a home for the orchestra, the chosen site was located in a deteriorated area of Boca del Río where the Jamapa River meets the Gulf of Mexico. The important decision was to think about the building as part of a larger urban regeneration project that also could tie to a three-mile boulevard that the mayor had already started to work on to improve the pedestrian experience along the waterfront. The aim was to make sure that the public spaces were considered as important as the building, giving back to the community by extending the plazas toward the beach, the breakwater, and the city.
Foro Boca serves as an urban detonator, cultural venue with the potential to trigger significant change in the local community and in the region at large. It has become an urban landmark that spurs activity on its public plazas.
The monumentality of the exterior carries into the interiors, expressed as soaring voids. Visitors enter the building beneath a cantilevered corner block, which hovers above the new public plaza. Inside, the main lobby is day-lit from skylights above and animated by suspended bridges and stairs that crisscross the space and flow to the auditorium’s different access points.
Appropriating the language of the jetty’s crude concrete blocks, the building was conceived as a cluster of cube-like volumes to break down its 58,000-square-foot mass. Inside, the design includes a 966-seat performance hall surrounded by back-of-house functions, as well as rehearsal rooms and other spaces that can host additional cultural programs.