5º Festival de Arquitectura en Español


A site specific workshop by Atelier Banchini


Mexico City

8-18 June, 2023

Neotopia is searching for neo-vernacular utopias to counterbalance its dystopian present; It is interested in contemporary informal architectures. Although often born from social injustice, self-built urban environments are the physical result of a temporary utopia, free from the mediation of the architect or the control of the legislative power. Avoiding the aestheticization of poverty, Sonido Pirata looks at these architectures driven by a strict economy rather than abstract concepts and question top-down approaches to architecture. Far from the groomed city centers, It looks at the forgotten suburbs of the neo-capitalist landscape. Focusing on the physical gesture of construction he understands architecture through the lens of workmanship and always envision the act of building as an Action. Leaving formalism behind, he creates architectures born from the deep understanding of the ofen-painful act of construction and sees architecture as a social and political act rather than a design exercise.


Leopold Banchini Architects aims to develop an eclectic and non-dogmatic architecture celebrating simplicity, economy and sustainability. We see architecture as a tool to support unexpected and diverse ways of living together and refuse to use buildings as representations of power, wealth or cultural superiority. We value the poetry of construction over composition and admire direct answers to unique sites and contexts. We look for humble aesthetics based on the veracity of expression against preconceived functionalism.

We use creativity to encourage alternative models to commercial methods of production and expand the traditional definitions of project making using DIY cultures as means of emancipation.

We challenge established relations of knowledge supremacies and admire the beauty of neo-vernacular buildings and popular intelligence. We see the origins of architectural elements beyond borders and historical periods.

We place political and environmental considerations at the very heart of our practice and address architecture as a form of social action.


Xochimilco lies 28 km south of Mexico City. With its network of canals and artificial islands, it testifies to the efforts of the Aztec people to build a habitat in the midst of an unfavourable environment. Its characteristic urban and rural structures, built since the 16th century and during the colonial period; have been preserved in an exceptional manner.

Xochimilco forms part of a cultural World Heritage site but on a national level it is also a protected natural area, which leads to the involvement in the management of the Ministry of the Environment, which acts through the Natural Resources Commission of the government of the Federal District.


Participants will develop hand in hand with Leopold Banchini a specific project from conceptualization to construction on a one to one scale around the concept of neo vernacular architecture and design.

Mexican artist Héctor Zamora and Swiss architect Pierre Cauderay will also participate as special guests.

The workshop will be held in the monumental building Los Manantiales from Félix Candela.


1) You can apply by completing the online application form (founded under ‘Book now’ button) on this page.

2) Once you complete the application form and make a full payment, you will be registered to the programme.

3) There are two different periods of registration:

4) You must specify if you will take it in person in Mexico City or online.


Ends March 28 (2023)


March 1 to June 7 (2023)

The deadline for applications is the 7th June, 2023

After payment of fees, the IESARQ can provide a letter confirming participation in the workshop.


The workshop is open to students as well as professionals worldwide of a wide range of disciplines (architecture, art, design, etc).



875 USD


1050 USD

*Fees include a weeklong workshop and the workshop material and the access into all the master classes of Fae 2023 (online or in person in Mexico City). Each participant will also get a tote bag and sketch book. A 5% commission will be charged on Paypal payments. Bank commissions or transfer fees are not included in the registration price. The applicant must assume these costs.

*At the end, a Diploma will certificate each participation.

​*Fees do not include flights or accommodation, but accommodation options can be advised. Students need to bring their own laptops.