Infographic Center: Mexico City

Infographic Museum and Urban Precinct

This competition entry for the Metropolitan Infographic Center in Mexico City is inspired by the performative and experiential qualities of urban architecture. The design draws temporal connections through spatial relationships in order to recast the cultural perceptions of the plaza, generating a flexible infrastructure that implements both simple typologies and high technologies to form a distinctive urban center. Across its varied history, the Plaza de las Tres Culturas has been a site of worship, conflict and negotiation. The presence of this history is undeniable in the iconic structures of the Aztec temple complex, the Colonial cathedral, and the Modern housing slabs and foreign ministry, and yet, there is little to demarcate a space for the present and the future. With a few simple operations, our intervention accomplishes a great deal at a relatively humble scale. The perimeter of the plaza is wrapped with a continuous and permeable canopy that both defines and activates its edge.

In order to reconcile the rift between the modern and ancient levels of the site, the entrance to the museum is submerged below the level of the plaza, forming a literal and conceptual bridge across both history and space. The plaza remains open as a powerful urban place, while gaining the monumental extrusion of the center’s triple height exhibition space. The project forms a public passage between the modern and colonial level, providing an accessible route to the landscape of the Aztec ruins, drawing these spaces into dialogue and creating a new urban sequence by which to experience their mysteries.

The underground location of the museum spaces facilitates the maintenance of the specific climate and light levels required for the archival map collection. During the day, the translucent, Mexican onyx-clad atrium will be filled with a warm, diffused light, and at night the plaza will have, as its focus, a floating lantern.

Typology Infographic Museum and Urban Precinct
date 2007
location Plaza del las Tres Culturas, Tlatelolco, Mexico
scale 5,000 sf
scope International Design Competition


Project Team Geoffrey Thün, Kathy Velikov, Farid Noufaily, Gregory Perkins, Pooya Bakhtash