Arco Bicentenario

Bicentennial Arch

Architecture / Urbanism

Client: Federal Government
Location: Mexico City
Status: Project
Year: 2009
Project Design: Fernanda Canales + a | 911
Design Leaders: Fernanda Canales,
Saidee Springall, Jose Castillo
Design Team: Iván Cervantes, Ernesto Lomelí,
Caliope Hernández, Marta Bono, Heriberto Maldonado,
Lucrecia Montemayor, Anabel Chávez, Juvencio Núñez

Project Description:

The Mexican Federal Government organized this competition and it was called for the construction of an arch to commemorate 200th anniversary of the Mexican War of Independence. The proposal is one of urban regeneration that builds upon the idea of an open city with accessible public spaces. This notion highlights the fact that objects are not the only way in which a nation-state is able to provide a symbol of modernity and democracy to its people.

The project takes precedent from similar proposals, such as the 3.7 miles M-30 in Madrid or the Big Dig in Boston, which relocated 7.5 miles of freeway underground. This proposal envisions a 1,640 ft corridor, which will become a model that highlights the historical, environmental and landscaping values of the city, as well as its commitment to the pedestrian mobility of its citizens.

The project creates a new relationship between the city and its inhabitants by focusing in their physical and social connectivity. The symbolic dimension and the commemorative intention do not focus on a sculptural object, but instead focuses on the link between the urban, the public, the civic, the cultural and the recreational realms.

The continuity of Paseo de la Reforma is recovered through the expansion of the Chapultepec Forest on both of its sides, and over the Circuito Interior. The nearby neighborhoods and the park will also benefit from this intervention. The space created, which would be around 1,640 ft long by 196 ft wide, will also integrate residual green spaces that are currently dispersed and isolated along Paseo de la Reforma, from Museo Rufino Tamayo to Torre Mayor. The main idea is to locate the citizenry, primarily the pedestrian, as the principal actor of the city by redefining the concept of the park, the monument and public work.

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