Performing Arts Center

Cultural Complex
University of Guadalajara
Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico

Area / 32,000.00 m2
Architects / em-estudio + Estudio Esteban Cervantes Arquitectos
Structure / Acero y Concreto. Ing. Domingo Uriarte Parra
Renders / Antonio Parga
Year / 2009

The Performing Arts Center, CAE, is the first complex of its kind in Guadalajara. The 32.000 m2 house an extensive program with 3 auditoriums with specific characteristics that aim to create an intimate and contemplative space for the appreciation of “art”. Having such a large program, the project has chosen the “Concentration of Stages”, generating three functional and independent theaters that operate autonomously within an efficient “machine” common to all; based on this premise, the project was able to incorporate additional potential that allow a wide range of scenarios that can respond to the forms and expressions of contemporary art that require an improvement in traditional typologies.

In addition to these three auditoriums, a fourth outdoor auditorium is added, designed to accommodate alternative shows using the infrastructure created.

The technology of the “theater machine” is hidden and concentrated above the stages. The diversity of possible effects is impressive, and would have the appropriate infrastructure for increasingly sophisticated presentations. It is crucial to give each theater its own identity, but it seems a waste not to concentrate all these technologies and their arrangement within a single critical mass of potential scenic display. Besides that, every theater offers an efficient solution to their own needs, they can be combined to create entirely new scenic possibilities. Formally, the contrast between this “central machine” and the exciting skins of the theaters that are embedded in mutual dependence, offers a new organization that achieves the expression of a smart icon. The ambition of this project is to create three separate theaters; in a precise, economic and efficient sense, in a design that offers dramatic possibilities as a bonus.


Operation Schemes

South Elevation

East Elevation

West Elevation

Longitudinal Section


Stage / Recording Studio

Aerial View