“A convincing and realistic integration of the informal economy”
Project description by jury
The project proposes the renovation of Plaza Merced 2000, a building in one of the oldest retail areas of Mexico City. The precinct houses a public market that is currently working at 20% of its capacity. Instead of the envisaged demolition, suspended after several objections, the architectural design proposes the implementation of a series of retrofit interventions to achieve 100% building occupation while involving new and existing stakeholders. The architectural design confers a new identity upon the depleted greyfield site that is converted into an open and dynamic facility mixing commercial, educational and entertainment services. The renovation process includes environmental, economic and social challenges. From an ecological perspective, the project aims to minimize the building’s carbon footprint thanks to retaining the existing structure, the use of recycled materials, and an optimized energy and water management. The surrounding open space is reconfigured to create new circulation and public spaces by which the market establishes a new contextual connection.