Growing walls to break them down

Carlos Rodriguez Bernal
Tuesday 06 Jan 2009

A garden in the heart of Megalopolis tests the boundaries between landscape and building

Carlos Rodríguez Bernal of SPRB Arquitectos explains the concept behind their design for Bicentennial of the Independence Plaza in Mexico City:

"We imagine a great ritual space around the Concepción Chapel, symbolically dedicated to the Mexican Independence and Revolution, rectangular and long, isolated from the chaotic movement of the city by a “green wall”. Here is where the great rectangular enclosure is born, where the disproportion between length and width and the continuity of the peripheral wall attribute the open space this character of interiority often found in different open spaces of Mesoamerican architecture. Its about something which is conceptually between the idea of the plaza in the European tradition and the typology of the great building ad aula; but, due to being constructed substantially by vegetation, it could fit also in the category of the garden.

"The inner space, clearly delimited, will be free and smooth, almost without trees, of plain pavement; in contrast, the outer space will be shady and irregular, splashed with some landscape and architectural episodes, furrowed at various points by the access walkways to the inner space, gathering functions and multiple activities. The garden around the great enclosure will be the mattress which finally cushions the relationship between urban life’s chaos and the metaphysic character of the inside. The structure of the great enclosure extends over 500 meters and reaches 18 meters height; it will be planted with different vegetal species which will cover completely the structure. This species, of different colorations, will change the image of the green wall each season; it is about an unpredictable nature that will lighten the project’s geometry in the course of the years."

Key Facts:

Civic Buildings Urban design

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