Friday, December 26, 2008

Bicentenary Towers celebrate 200 years of Mexican independence



The 10th International Arquine competition to design two towers to celebrate Mexico’s bicentenary, has been won by Gregorio Vasquez and Manuel Wedeles with their designs for Tezozomoc and Xochimilco. The two mixed-use towers - intended to be completed for the bicentenary celebrations in 2010 – will be set in two strategic areas of Mexico City; the Azcapotzalco Technology Park and the Xochimilco Ecology Park. Each tower will be 83 stories, with around 100,000 metres of floor space, and will include offices, residential apartments, a hotel, and retail areas, separated from one another by a sky garden and connected with vertical voids.

The Serpiente Emplumada Tower (Tezozomoc) is shaped by two ellipses, which intercept each other at their core. These ellipses extrude and twist separately, one slightly and the other dramatically, generating moments where the two shapes intersect and complement one another. The outer shell of Tezozomoc creates an interior vertical void where air can circulate and be cleaned up by various layers of air filters. The Piramide del Sol Tower (Xochimilco) extends geometrically from a square at its base, and is shaped by four extruding squares twisted on their vertical axis, to a rectangular tower at the top, the axis of which marks the direction of the sun. As with Tezozomoc, these twisting volumes generate vertical voids that are used as air ducts where air can be filtered and cleaned, and recycled back into the atmosphere.

Vasquez and Wedeles Architects not only designed the towers to reflect the technological and ecological aims of the competition – with the buildings acting as air filters for their respective parks - but also to represent the history of Mexico itself, with Tezozomoc referencing the ancient Mayan civilisation and Xochimilco representing the Aztecs.

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