Built in 1910 in Toluca, Mexico, this building has originally housed the city’s first market, under the name of „September 16″ market. The building was designed by engineer Manuel Arrate in Art Nouveau style; spreading on an area of a half hectare and two thirds of the superior part and roof are made of metal and glass. This market has functioned until 1975 and when it was closed, different solutions were looked to capitalize the building. Due to the successful lobbying made by artist Leopoldo Flores, it was agreed the old market to be transformed into a botanical garden and the ceiling and huge windows to become a space dedicated to art. This is a brief history of this wonderful symbiosis between art and nature which the adjacent images speak for themselves. The project was named Cosmovitral, a mix between “space” and “vitreous” (the Spanish word for glass). The theme of the work is “Man and his relationship with the universe” and Leopoldo Flores has worked for 3 years with 60 artisans to make mural windows. The mural painting on the windows consists of 71 modules covering an area of approximately 3,200 square meters. For the project there have been used 75 tons of metal brackets, 45 tons of glass and 25 tons of lead to blend approximately 500,000 pieces of glass. Also, there were used 28 different colors of glass.
The theme described by the mural windows have in the center the universal duality and antagonisms: the struggle between life and death, good and evil, day and night, creation and destruction, all being in a cosmic continuum. The Cosmovitral Botanical Garden contains over 500 species of plants, both from Mexico and around the world. The central objective of the project is a panel with a fiery sun with the image of a man who symbolizes mankind in perfect harmony with the forces of creation, with virtue, art, science, truth, beauty, wisdom. This panel is known as the “Hombre Sol” or “Sun Man”. Every year on the spring equinox, the sun aligns with Hombre Sol for about 20 minutes, and this event is celebrated with a concert of classical music. I consider Cosmovitral a project full of symbolism and extraordinarily beautiful and I hope you enjoy it as much i do. Enjoy the photos!