The Environmental Culture Center contemplates a Pavilion surrounded by a set of Gardens with a naturalistic design and an ethnobotanical look. These Gardens refer to the diverse ecosystems and natural landscapes of the Valley of Mexico Basin (Temperate Forests, Grasslands, Wetlands, and Pedregal vegetation) and are carefully integrated with the existing vegetation, topography, and equipment of Chapultepec, thus optimizing and increasing its Great potential as an urban forest.


For the accessibility and enjoyment of these Gardens, a series of Biocultural Walks have been incorporated, which significantly improve pedestrian connectivity in this section of the Forest. The Walks offer an immersion experience in nature and an educational rediscovery of the importance of natural elements within an urban forest and our relationship with them, thus transcending their merely connective and aesthetic functionality.


The Biocultural Walks adopt trajectories in the form of a concentric spiral that gives continuity to the curved lines that define the outline of Menor Lake. Its tours start from the existing cultural equipment at different points around the perimeter of the land and intuitively come together in the Center for Environmental Culture: a cultural node projected as an open public space that allows one to experience the close relationship between nature and the new cultural and environmental dynamics. It is made up of the duality and interaction of an open-air Cultural Space with a forum or circular plaza, and an Environmental Pavilion that houses exhibitions focused on promoting environmental culture.


The spatial configuration of the project arises from strategically locating the Center for Environmental Culture. It is delicately incorporated into the geometry of the lake and a natural slope with existing vegetation, which provides an optimal space to place a set of volcanic stone steps that serve as containment, rest, and contemplation for the new landscape or environmental setting.


The Environmental Pavilion is conceived as one more element of the landscape. Its semi-conical geometry and its black stone cladding on the 2,000 m² roofs refer to the volcanic landscapes of Pedregal and are subtly integrated into its natural and cultural environment. The result is a light, flexible, versatile, and very low-maintenance pavilion. Its formal simplicity is accompanied by the conscious choice of optimal construction systems and new technologies that minimize its carbon footprint and its impact on the environment.


The interior of the Pavilion offers complete continuity and spatial flexibility that can accommodate and explore different museography proposals, always allowing visual transparency towards its two exterior fronts: the Gardens and the Cultural Space.


These characteristics highlight its versatility and spatial dynamism to house those activities and exhibition programs that need some shelter and shade. The experience of feeling direct contact with the Gardens/Walks is also favored, which provides the visitor with a unique landscape from inside the Pavilion, enhancing the importance of natural elements and the landscape in an educational and cultural environment.

馆内的这种方式可以使人看到自然和人类、现有和项目、景观和建筑之间的和谐、直接的相互关系和融合。以前是车辆停车场,现在是农业生态区,有各种轮流种植的地块,由石墙作为 “特科拉”。这些提供了一个与展馆屋顶和谐的新景观,同时改善了空间的环境条件,促进了生物多样性。这个区域还通过各种教育、示范和农业生产项目寻求公民参与。

This approach of the Pavilion allows visualizing the harmony, direct interrelation, and fusion of the natural and the human, the existing and the project, and the landscape and the architecture. Where previously there was a vehicular parking lot, there is now the Agroecological Zone with various plots of rotating crops, contained by stone walls as “tecorrals”. These offer a new landscape in harmony with the roof of the Pavilion while improving the environmental conditions of the space and promoting biodiversity. This area also seeks citizen participation through various educational, demonstration, and agricultural production programs.


The project prioritizes the design principles of permaculture, which zones the space and regulates its level of maintenance according to proximity criteria, in this case to the Center for Environmental Culture. The irrigation system for the agroecological zone works by gravity. It begins its journey in Lago Menor and is distributed thanks to a visible master channel and several secondary channels with manual gates that optimize the use and management of water. The project provides a unique set of landscapes, emotions, encounters, activities, and learning in the context of an urban forest, ensuring compliance with its ecosystem functions and becoming an active promoter of environmental culture.

Architects: ERRE q ERRE arquitectura y urbanismo
Area : 2000 m²
Year : 2023
Lead Architect : Arq. Rafael Ponce Ortiz
Project Partner : Juan Ansberto Cruz
Architecture / Urbanism / Landscape : Rafael Ponce Ortiz, Arq. Margarita Gorbea Angeles, Cesar Ávila, Oscar Díaz Gaspar, Abigail Esparza, Diego Bueno de la Paz, Valerio López Acevedo
Landscape Engineering : Ing. Juan Ansberto Cruz Gerón, Paola Patricia González Ordaz, Fabiola Alvarado, Gerardo Tapia, Eduardo Santiago, Perla Flores
Vegetal Proposal : Rodrigo Canjay Torres, Pamela Vélez, Fortino Acosta
Environmental Engineering And Design : Alejandro de Alva, Amado Ríos, Edgar Ojeda Sotelo, Oscar Ramírez, Coral Rojas Serrano, Javier Cuauhtémoc Blancas Ponce
Geometry And Structural Analysis : Eric Valdez Olmedo, Axayacatl Sánchez
Museography : Adriana Miranda
Promoter : Gobierno Federal / Secretaría de Cultura, Gobierno de la CDMX / Secretaría del Medio Ambiente
Chapultepec Nature And Culture Project Coordinator : Gabriel Orozco
Coordinator Of The Public Architecture Competition : Ernesto Alva
City : Mexico City
Country : Mexico