Project entry 2020 for Latin America

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    Improving Market in Mexico

    An empty building in a dense environment.

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    Improving Market in Mexico

    The intervention of the building “Plaza Merced 2000” is a unique opportunity to define how similar underused retail buildings and their context can be improved reducing conflicts and taking advantage of the opportunities.

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    Improving Market in Mexico

    The proposal addresses the paradigmatic scenario that the building intervention represents stating a message of accessibility and inclusiveness. The building becomes an open and dynamic facility. Austere materials are used to improve the building performance and the user experience.

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    Improving Market in Mexico

    Activation strategy.

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    Improving Market in Mexico

    A long-term dialogue to achieve consensus.

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    Improving Market in Mexico

    Integrating the building into the city.

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    Improving Market in Mexico

    Reducing quantity to increase quality.

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    Improving Market in Mexico

    Addressing functionality and experience with natural light.

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    Improving Market in Mexico

    Improving the environmental, spatial, and economic performance of the building.

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    Improving Market in Mexico

    The abandoned cinema inside of the building becomes a public active space for the district.

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    Improving Market in Mexico

    Pablo Goldin Marcovich

Last updated: June 16, 2021 Mexico City, Mexico

Planet and progress: Valuing the existing, a call for change

Four hundred years of demolition and reconstruction of commercial facilities in “La Merced” have generated conflicts and distrust towards urban transformations marginalizing and polluting in every iteration. Recycling the building “Plaza Merced 2000” proposes a different approach. From the ecological perspective, environmental friendly materials, water and energy management and recycling reduces the carbon footprint of the building. From a social perspective, a gradual project reduces uncertainty and provides the local community the possibility to prototype and test different solutions as a process. From an economical perspective, commercial activities will remain undisrupted during the recycling process. Initial investment of the building and the opportunity cost are taken in advantage.


People and prosperity: Integrate the stakeholders to increase the value

As part of an unsuccessful plan launched in 1993 to relocate informal commerce into similar buildings across the city, “Plaza Merced 2000” is deeply incorporated into the formal and informal economic dynamics of the area. The project proposes to address this original purpose from a large urban scale perspective interacting with the surrounding public buildings sharing circulations, public spaces, and programs. Different stakeholders, from individual vendors to institutions and distributors, are strategically located in the building to create circular processes of cooperation based on shared interests. Everyday businesses, educational programs, entertainment, and other services complement each other. The building performs as a laboratory for organic urban self-development.

Place: From design to advocacy, the building as a message

Architecture and urban planning practices are understood as proactive strategic tools to actively engage in conflict mediations and social development. Large scale letters distributed along the facades form a slogan: “'VIVA PLAZA MERCED 2000 POR SIEMPRE” (“LONG LIVE PLAZA MERCED 2000 FOREVER”). This slogan sends out a conciliatory message with the past and an optimistic vision for the future. Abandoned elements are repurposed, the cinema located on the first floor is converted into an open sports facility. The preexisting panel facade is replaced by metallic curtains that mimic popular facades and provide a new relation between the building and its environment. Local identity, defined by festivities and events, is staged under expressive skylights.