17 October 2011

The Earthscraper of Mexico City

Mexico City – one of the world’s greatest, and most populated cities. Recent law have placed height limits on new buildings in this, one of our alpha global cities. So, architects BNKR Arquitectura (pronounced Bunker) have come up with what you might call something of a plan. Mexico City can no longer have any new skyscrapers (indeed, any building more than eight storeys in height). So what about the world’s first earthscraper instead?

This new architectural extravaganza has been designed to fit right in the middle of Mexico City. It has been mooted that this amazing upside down pyramid could be built in (or rather under) The Zócalo, the main plaza or square in the heart of the historic center of Mexico City. It will be a snug fit, too – at least from external appearance. Below is how the earthscraper might look, as well as how the plaza looks today.

This massive underground undertaking will have 75 storeys, 35 of which will be for offices. Then there will be an additional ten each for a museum, shops and homes. You might immediately shrink away from the idea of living underground, but the architects have some rather special plans for the building. One of the plans is to reinvigorate the shape that symbolises the city for the twenty first century – the pyramid.

The Aztecs may have built upwards but this century the direction is different. Altogether, the 75-storey pyramid shaped earthscraper will descend three hundred meters into the ground beneath The Zócalo and you might well think that there is little or no chance of even the famous Mexican sunshine reaching that deep. The core of the structure will be constructed from glass, so that even the lowest point receives its fair share of sunlight. This will be facilitated by a huge, glass piranesian void, direct from the surface to the 75th floor below the ground.

BNKR Arquitectura hopes that the citizens of Mexico City will not only choose to live and work there but also visit to escape the hustle bustle of one of the biggest metropolitan areas in the world. Tourists too, will have an excuse to visit – a vast cultural center is also planned as part of this gargantuan subterranean architect’s dream.

As well as circumventing the city’s building rules, the earthscraper will allow normal activities on the square to persevere, such as exhibitions, concerts and military parades – all while the underground leviathan continues to function normally. It cerainly shows that where limitations are put in place, good architects will always find a way around them. One can only hope that this dream of a new pyramid for Mexico City becomes a reality.

Kuriositas would like to thank BNKR Arquitectura for their kind permission to reproduce the artist’s impressions above.  All pictures © BNKR Arquitectura.