Holcim Foundation


Urban catalyst

A chance to develop strong conceptual ideas

The issue of water management, particularly in underequipped urban areas, is a crucial one for Mexico City. Jointly coordinating a team from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Loreta Castro Reguera and Manuel Perló Cohen developed an innovative approach. This program works to integrate public space and light hydraulic infrastructures, thereby offering an alternative to the usual strategies, a proposal that won the Holcim Awards Gold for Latin America in 2017, and the Global Award Gold in 2018.

For Loreta Castro Reguera, winning a prize in the Holcim Awards significantly boosted her project’s drive to be constructed. She shares her experience in the special edition of international design magazine L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui (AA) dedicated to architecture competitions. Read her full interview and jury member comments by Xuemei Bai, Professor of Urban Environment & Human Ecology, Australian National University and Angelo Bucci, Co-founder & Principal, spbr, Brazil.

Urban catalyst: Interview with Loreta Castro Reguera (English/French flip book)

Catalyseur d’urbanité: Entretien avec Loreta Castro Reguera (English/French flip book)

Catalizador urbano: Entrevista con Loreta Castro Reguera (English/Spanish flip book)

Jury comments

Bai_Xuemei_02.jpg“Most of the world’s future populations will be added to the cities in the Global South, where adequate infrastructure for water provision and treatment is often missing. These cities are also most vulnerable to increasing flood risks under a changing climate. Addressing these urban challenges requires system thinking and locally-embedded, innovative solutions that achieve multiple goals in one intervention. This project is exactly doing that.”

- Xuemei Bai, Professor of Urban Environment & Human Ecology, Australian National University; and Member of the Global Holcim Awards jury in 2018.


DSC_0969.jpg“The Holcim Awards are presented as a competition, but they have a much wider reach. They support an affirmative policy to promote sustainable architecture. They embody the idea of a more ethic, inclusive and resilient world. This complex project in Mexico City reflects these principles.”

- Angelo Bucci, Architect, co-founder of spbr arquitetos office, São Paulo, Brazil; and Head of the Holcim Awards jury for Latin America in 2017.

Holcim Awards open for entries

Design competitions boost projects, careers, and networking opportunities. The Holcim Awards seeks leading projects of professionals as well as bold ideas from the Next Generation that combine sustainable construction solutions with architectural excellence.

The 6th cycle of the international competition is open for entries until February 25, 2020. The Awards offer a total of USD 2 million in prize money and foreground projects and concepts from architecture, engineering, urban planning, materials and construction technology, and related fields. Enter your contribution to sustainable construction in the Holcim Awards – the world’s most significant competition for sustainable design.

More information

Enter the competition

Last Updated: July 16, 2019
Article Details
Mexico City, Mexico
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