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.[see_also]
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.
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.