Data + Design Project

Abandoned Market Hides A Stained Glass Wonderland

Tuesday 01.28.2014 , Posted by
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You’ll find a full spectrum of hues in this wondrous market-turned-greenhouse. Located in Toluca, Mexico, this majestic Art Nouveau-style building was originally built in 1910 and housed the city’s first market. When the market closed in 1975, local artist Leopoldo Flores imagined a vibrant, verdant future for the historic site. 

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Convincing the government to invest in a creative reuse of the building, Flores transformed it into what he called the “Cosmovitral,” a linguistic blend of the Spanish words for “cosmos” and “glass.” Over the following fifteen years, a series of wildly-artistic changes took root: the vast interior was filled with a botanic garden featuring over 500 plants from around the globe, its giant windows were filled with flames of brilliant stained glass, and a mosaic glass ceiling was built to top the stunning solarium.

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In addition to providing a photosynthetic rush to some very lucky flora, the Cosmovitral offers a shining testament to the symbiotic relationship between humankind and the heavens. Its stained glass glows with human figures and powerful natural elements such as fire and water, most predominantly starring a circular seal called Hombre Sol (“Sun Man”). Grafting references to history, economy, power, and the natural world, the Cosmovitral redefines the very term “art market” and provides a stellar addition to Toluca’s urban ecology.

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Via: Geyser of Awesome and Kuriositas

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Candace Kita

Written by Candace Kita



A Chicago native currently putting down roots in Portland. By day, an emerging leader at the oldest art museum on the West Coast. By night, a rampant writer and vegan foodie. Proud alumna of Scripps College. Prefers questions over answers. Gets unmentionably excited by typography, mid-century modernism, the Arcade Fire, and you. See her website or follow her on LinkedIn and Instagram.

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