Earthscraper in Mexico City
The Historic Center of Mexico City is composed of different layers of cities superimposed on top of each other. When the Aztecs first came to the Valley of Mexico they built their pyramids (first layer) above the lake of Texcoco. When new and bigger pyramids were required, as the Aztec Empire grew in size and power, they did not search for a new site, they built them covering the existing ones. At the end, these pyramids are composed of different layers of historical periods. When the Spanish discovered America and ultimately conquered the Aztecs, they erected their Christian temples on top of the pyramids. Eventually their whole colonial city was built above the Aztec. In the 20th century, many colonial buildings were demolished and modern structures raised over the existing historic foundations.
Today, the Historic Center is in desperate need of a programmatic make-over. New infrastructure, office, retail, and living spaces are required. Federal and local laws prohibit demolishing historic buildings and height regulations limit new structures to eight stories.
The main plaza of Mexico City, known as the “Zocalo” is 57,600 square meters (240m x240m), making it one of the largest in the world. It is bordered by the Cathedral, the National Palace and the Federal District Buildings. This is the location of the proposed Eathscraper, an inverted skyscraper that digs down through the different layers of Mexico City.
The Earthscraper preserves the iconic presence of the Zocalo and the existing hierarchy of the buildings that surround it. It is an inverted pyramid with a central void that allows all habitable spaces to enjoy natural light and ventilation. The first ten stories are dedicated to a pre-Columbian museum. The next ten stories are retail areas and housing while the deeper 35 stories are offices.