Serving a dense, impoverished neighborhood of Mexico City, this project combines much-needed water infrastructure with a new type of public space. Stepped terrain and a series of public buildings form a rich variety of courtyards. Low basins host wetlands and provide storage capacity to mitigate flooding during heavy rainfall. Upper levels move from soft landscape to hard paving, from park to plaza. By interweaving water management with public amenities, the project reintroduces water to the civic realm.
Working with the topography of the site, this project reintroduces soft surfaces for water retention into a city that has all but eliminated them. The jury was impressed by the equal attention given to technical considerations of water management, social provision of public space, and the economics of construction as well as long-term maintenance. Moreover, the design is spatially compelling – by articulating the logic of the water, it creates an attractive, dignified public realm in an area lacking basic infrastructure.