An architecture firm in Mexico is proposing a pioneering plan to build an inverted pyramid in Mexico City, marking the largest such structure ever to be built underground.
BNKR Arquitectura plans to build this inverted 75 story structure in Mexico City’s main public square and center, Zocalo. This innovative structure was inspired by the need to work in a confined space that’s already crowded with other historic monuments located in Zocalo. BNKR architects chose an inverted pyramidal shape to maximize the structural integrity of a city that will be located underground.
Called an “Earthscraper”, this underground city will plunge nearly 1,000 feet (304m) below the surface and house approximately 100,000 people. City planners considering approval of the concept are looking at how such a structure can play its part in revitalizing Zocalo square and address problems associated with urban sprawl, population growth, and the preservation of open space.
The “Earthscraper” is also in keeping with the historic Aztec tradition of building stone pyramids, which were built throughout the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries. The Aztecs built these stone pyramids layer by layer in their capital city of Tenochtitlan, located on the shore of Lake Texcoco, which is also the site of modern-day Mexico City. These pyramids fulfilled various religious and ceremonial traditions and practices.
According to Esteban Suarez, a member of the architecture firm BNKR Arquitectura, the Earthscraper will include a cultural centre and will accommodate a variety of recreational, housing, and commercial needs.
This structure also seeks to reclaim the cultural heritage and roots of Mexico City. When Spanish conquistadors arrived in Mexico City, they conquered the Aztecs and built churches and buildings on top of the stone pyramids as an act of cultural appropriation. “The Earthscraper digs down through the layers of cities to uncover our roots,” says Esteban Suarez.