Interest in preserving topographic features, ecological balance and unique landscapes is on the rise as cities around the world increase in size, consume land and finite resources and gradually become less differentiated. With these concerns in mind, we developed the first of a series of international studios developing architectural proposals that increase awareness of the role that the architecture, planning and landscape disciplines can play in refashioning the environment. The program for the studio Is an archeological museum and botanical garden in the San Juan neighborhood of Xochimilco, Mexico.
The studio focused on Xochimilco’s extended series of canals - all that remains of the ancient system of lakes stretching for most of the valley of Anahuac in the middle of which Tenochtitlan - the impressive capital of the Aztecs was located. With modern day Mexico city occupying most of this area, the loss of the subterranean water has produced an ecological disaster including the gradual sinking of large parts of the city and many irreversible losses: habitat, native vegetation and traditional sound agricultural methods to cultivate in the middle of the water called chinampas.