duendepr.com news Cloud Shelter by Didier Fiúza Faustino, a safe haven for the Zapotec people

Cloud Shelter by Didier Fiúza Faustino, a safe haven for the Zapotec people


The humanitarian project Cloud Shelter, by Didier Fiúza Faustino, came into being after the September 2017 earthquakes that severely shook the town of Juchitán in southern Mexico. It is a volunteer project, carried out and financed by the Foundation Alumnos. The public site of collective use is comprised of a basketball and baseball court, green spaces, a children’s playground, toilets and a community house.


“Conceived like the shell of a dasypodidae, commonly known as the armadillo, the structure of this architecture is comparable to a protective skin, ensuring the safety of the people in case of a natural disaster. Thanks to its elevated platform, people are protected from possible flooding, whereas the hammocks, which it shelters, provide dry refuge. They are mobile and may slide along the masts to meet the needs of the time. This particularity offers a clear open space when all of the hammocks are raised skywards, allowing the inhabitants to use the area and take up different activities”, describes Didier Fiúza Faustino.


A true gathering space of exchange and conviviality, the structure is able to host approximately 50 people. This bright and open space is thought of as an anchorage point for the community, a symbol of identity. An opportunity to make time and life more pleasant, moments more precious, to eat, to rest, to take refuge, to converse, to resist, to care for one another. A place suspended in time, with ones head in the clouds.


In order to embed the construction between the two playing fields a reconfiguration of the area has been made. The new repositioning creates the comfort of a shaded area. The size of the architectural envelope is of 24 by 18 meters and its height of 9 meters. To safeguard from possible flooding the architecture is raised off the ground by 60 centimeters. The openwork outer shell, made of rhombus-shaped panels, is formed like scales. It is built out of pre-fabricated reinforced concrete. The surface area of the occupiable space is 140m2. A tubular pyramidal structure links the sequence of 4m x 4m masts. The suspended hammocks are able to host 6 families composed of two adults and two children.


The construction of Cloud Shelter will be completed in the spring of 2019.