Cultural Corridor Chapultepec


FR-EE is pleased to announce its most recent project: the Cultural Corridor Chapultepec, which is about to transform the urban space of Mexico City.

Historic Context

The oldest testimonies that we have about Avenida Chapultepec go back to 1532, when the so-called Calzada San Juan was being built. The neighborhoods of San Juan and San Pablo (today: Zona Rosa and Roma-Condesa) were located on both sides of the way. It is very possible that the street followed the path of a Pre-Hispanic road, which used to connect the city with Chapultepec, where the Aztec emperors rested.

Along this road, an aqueduct provided water to Mexico City. Its arches were built in the 18th Century by José Ángel de Cuevas y Aguirre. Originally numbering 160, only 22 arches exist today. The aqueduct started at a fountain, which is situated today next to Metro Chapultepec, in very bad shape, and ended in the fountain of Salto del Agua.

In 1847, the Chapultepec Avenue was a crucial path during the fight against the American troops, which conquered the city. Fifty years later, in 1900, the first electrical tramway ran along this street. This drove Enrique Echåniz Brust, one of the pioneers of Mexican cinema, to film it in 1905, and so, the avenue became one of the very first urban spaces in the history of Mexican cinema. Decades later, when the students demonstrated in 1968, under their feet was being built the first subway line. The stations of the first line Chapultepec, Sevilla, Insurgentes and Cuauhtémoc opened in 1972.

As the centuries went by, the calm Pre-Hispanic road, which ran along the water canal, was transformed into a high-speed avenue, negligent to its context and historic richness. Avenida Chapultepec became some sort of dividing line or imaginary wall between Zona Rosa and the Condesa-Roma neighborhoods. The beginning of the promenade became a hotchpotch of commercial stalls as the subway and bus stations where established.

The Cultural Corridor Chapultepec

The Cultural Corridor Chapultepec (CCC) is a proposal to give back Avenida Chapultepec to the pedestrians and alternative vehicles other than automobiles. It is a finger of the Chapultepec Park that gets into the urbane space to make the citizens aware about how crucial the presence of green areas are for the life quality in any city.

The new CCC runs from the Chapultepec Park down to the Glorieta de los Insurgentes. Along this area of 0.8 miles (1,3 kilometers), urban space will be reinvented. New lanes for buses will be opened and the cars will be pushed to the sides in order to broaden the central space and reach a maximum of 57 meters.

The main promenade will run along the center of the avenue at street level. Specific lanes for bikes, skaters, wheelchairs and strollers will be built. Pedestrian crosswalks have been strategically designed in order to access the central space from the sidewalks and avoid accidents.

“This project will organise the surroundings, will double the green areas, will enhance connectivity and will celebrate the cultural diversity of the city” – Fernando Romero, general director of FR-EE

The upper level will have retail and a promenade for pedestrians with a carefully designed green landscape. There has been a special focus in the selection of the flora according to the urban context: it will not only provide shade to the public, but it will also have a crucial impact in mitigating the “heat island” effect. For the irrigation and services, recycled rainwater will be used.

“We are taking advantage of the space above the street to create an elevated park and generate a new quality public space for meeting people” – Juan Pablo Maza, general director of FRENTE

Electrical energy will be provided by solar cells. The bubble decks of recycled PET will yield a positive thermic and structural impact.

The CCC will transform the context by recovering its history. It will become a road to heal the diminished urban tissue and, in general, it will be a trigger to think about the urban paths in Mexico City and elsewhere in the country. Instead of being a dividing wall, it will become a meeting point and will facilitate an active mobility between both sides. Our ecological commitment compels us to take care of every single tree and to add plants that suit best this specific context.

“We want the Cultural Corridor Chapultepec to celebrate the social call of public space as a generator of urban life by means of creating a new, exciting, active and multicultural destination” – Ruysdael Vivanco de Gyves, general director of RVDG

The CCC will be divided in different zones according to the blocks, so different arts will become the specific character of each part. Every zone will have a symbolic color.

This way, Avenida Chapultepec will resume its rightful role as a laboratory for urban experimentation: it began as a road for the Aztec emperors, a path for the water used and drank by of the capital, the venue used by the American army, the circuit for the most modern and innovative vehicles, such as the first electric tram and the first subway.



Project: Cultural Corridor Chapultepec (Spanish: Corredor Cultural Chapultepec)
Client: Sapi de CV
Date: 2015 – 2017
Location: Chapultepec Avenue, between Lieja street and the Glorieta de los Insurgentes, Delegación Cuauhtémoc, 06700, Mexico City
Program: Mixed use
Construction area: 452,085 square feet (42,000 square meter)
Architects: FR-EE / FRENTE / RVDG
Landscape: Mario Schjetnan GDU
FR-EE Team: Fernando Romero, Mauricio Ceballos, Raymundo Zamora, Ignacio MĂ©ndez, Gustavo PĂ©rez, El Mehdi Belyasmine, Montserrat Fragoso, Libia Castilla, Diego VelĂĄzquez, Alba DĂ­az, Gaia Cella, Pedro RamĂ­rez, Ignacio Herrera, AarĂłn GarcĂ­a, CĂ©sar LĂłpez, Cecilia A. PĂ©rez, AngĂ©lica Ortiz, Alejandro MagallĂłn, Carlos Flores, Karen Soto, Antonio Carpio, Miguel Araujo, Diego Venegas, Christian GarcĂ­a, Jessica Wang, Rigel Scarlett DĂĄvila CantĂș, Christopher Alexander HernĂĄndez Muñoz, Alan Mauricio Parra VĂĄzquez, Ana Laura Cardoso RodrĂ­guez, Vania Velasco RodrĂ­guez, Oswaldo GuzmĂĄn Montero, JosĂ© Jorge Carbajal DomĂ­nguez, Clarissa Moreno Tapia, MarĂ­a Fernanda LeĂłn SĂĄnchez, David Ari Orozco Suarte, SaĂșl Flores LĂłpez, Adriana Jaquez Anguiano, Martha AngĂ©lica Villa Vivas, Diego Venegas Cuevas, Luis Enrique Torres Lira, Raymundo GarcĂ­a Meneses, Edgar Campusano RamĂ­rez, Araceli DamiĂĄn Navarrete, Annia Rocha, Luis Enrique PĂ©rez Cervantes, Viridiana Quintana GarcĂ­a, Manuel A. Archundia Reyes, Osvaldo Jasso Vargas, Aranza Campeche RamĂ­rez, Johana Vega Baltazar, Rodolfo Romero ChĂĄvez, Diego GuzmĂĄn Penella, Lucy Alejandra RodrĂ­guez Iglesias, Christian GarcĂ­a DĂ­az, Isabel LandĂ­n, Yair LĂłpez MarĂ­n, Diego Jacobo Ruvalcaba, Alejandro HernĂĄndez Morales, Eunice Marisel Salinas Yåñez, Paola Castanedo Shaadi
FRENTE / RVDG Team: Juan Pablo Maza, Ruysdael Vivanco, Jonathan Estrada, Narciso MartĂ­nez, Oriana Barrera, Mario Ramos, Mario Alquicira, Tania JuĂĄrez, Diana PĂ©rez, Omar Velasco, Ana PĂ©rez
External Team: 24 Studio, Colinas de Buen, IngenierĂ­a Experimental, ICA IngenierĂ­a, Lighteam, Ildefonso RodrĂ­guez

FR -EE / Fernando Romero EnterprisE

Architect and World Economic Forum “Global Leader of Tomorrow”, Fernando Romero is one of today’s most relevant international architects. A graduate of Mexico’s Universidad Iberoamericana, he worked in Paris under Jean Nouvel and in Rotterdam under Rem Koolhaas. Upon his return to Mexico in 2000, he founded FR-EE / Fernando Romero EnterprisE. Later on, he opened a FR-EE office in New York.

Fernando Romero, associated with renowned British architect Norman Foster, has been selected to design the New International Airport for Mexico City. It is estimated that the project will require an investment of 9 billion. It is going to be the most sustainable airport in the world.

Converging organic and systematic design approaches, Fernando Romero’s projects address a wide range of public and private initiatives from community education to urban development. FR-EE’s projects translate contemporary moments of society and culture into built form, achieving ground-breaking results through extensive technological advancements, through research, and implementation of green infrastructures.

The concept of translation embodies his understanding of architecture, using design to transform context, conditions and moments into buildings and places with structured identities. Ultimately, the goal of each project is to experience and render periods of societal, political and economic transformation into three-dimensional form.

Fernando Romero has been a Visiting Professor in Columbia University. He has won numerous awards, including the Honorary Fellowship by AIA – American Institute of Architects, the Bauhaus Award (2004/2005) and Mexican Society of Architects Award (2009). Among his works there are Soumaya Museum, the Convention Center for the G-20 World Summit 2012 and Plaza Mariana. He is currently working on the New International Airport for Mexico City, the tallest tower in Latin America, Mexic-Arte Museum in Austin, Texas, an art museum in Mazatlán and the Convention Center for Ciudad Juárez. He has ongoing projects in Miami, Moscow and Italy.

During his speech as winner of the contest for the new airport, Fernando Romero quoted Octavio Paz: “Architecture is the unbribeable witness of History, because you cannot talk about a great building without acknowledging that it has witnessed its era, its culture, its society and its intentions”.

FRENTE / Juan Pablo Maza

Founder and Director of FRENTE Arquitectura + Urbanismo. He was born in Mexico City in 1974 and got a degree in Architecture at the Universidad Iberoamericana in 1997. He visited courses in UNAM on “Urban Planning” and on “Design of Sustainable Cities” in UIA, where he has also taught several years.

He has received different accolades, such as the first place at the “IAA International Architecture Awards” (Chicago) in the category ‘Urban Planning Concept’; he was a finalist at “The Plan Awards” (Italy) in the category ‘Urban Regeneration’; shortlisted in the “German Design Awards 2016” (Germany) in the category ‘Public Space and Infrastructure’; and last year he got a prize by the “SNCA – Sistema Nacional de Creadores de Arte” in the category ‘Diseño ArquitectĂłnico’.

Moreover, in 2012 he got the Silver Medal at the “XII Bienal de Arquitectura Mexicana”; in 2009 he got a special mention at the contest for designing the “Monumento Bicentenario” for Mexico City; in 2006 he won the contest for a new space at the Museo Experimental “El Eco”, by Mathias Goeritz; and in 2013 he got the first place at the “AZ Awards” (Toronto). More recently he got a special mention at the “Architizer A+Awards” (New York City) and the first place at the “AAI MĂ©xico 2014”.

His work has been exhibited in different venues, such as the “Center for Architecture” in New York (2005); the “Biennale di Architettura” in Venezia (2008 and 2014); “Art Basel Exhibition” in Switzerland (2009); “MARQ: Museo de Arquitectura y Diseño” in Buenos Aires (2010); the “Bienal de Arquitectura Latinoamericana BAL-11” in Pamplona (2011); the “XVIII Bienal Panamericana de Arquitectura de Quito” (2012 and 2014); the “World Architecture Festival” in Singapore (2012); the “Bienal de Arquitectura” in Buenos Aires (2013); the “Muestra de Arquitectura Mexicana ContemporĂĄnea” in Rome (2013); and in the “IX Bienal Iberoamericana de Arquitectura y Urbanismo” in Rosario, Argentina (2014).

RVDG / Ruysdael Vivanco

He is the founder and general director of the Mexican architecture and urban planning RVDG Arquitectura + Urbanismo. He studied Architecture at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City (1993-1998). Afterwards he got a degree in Urbanism at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London (1998-2000).

He was part of the workshop “Urbanism for the Urban Regeneration of Favelas in Rio de Janeiro”, organized by the Architectural Association School of Architecture and the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (2001), as well as in the workshop “Strategies for the Urban Regeneration of Historic Center of Mexico City” in alliance with the Architectural Association and the Universidad Iberoamericana (2002-2004).

Between 2003 and 2007 he led the Projects Workshop at the Architecture Department of Universidad Iberoamericana. He represented Mexico at the International Seminary “Soluciones al Transporte en Ciudades Mesoamericanas” that took place in Antigua, Guatemala, in 2010. He also participated at the “Primer Foro Internacional de Arquitectura” at the Universidad TecnolĂłgica de MĂ©xico.

His work on urban design and planning has been recognized in 2015 by receiving the first place at the “IAA International Architecture Awards” (Chicago) in the category ‘Urban Planning Concept’; he was a finalist at the “The Plan Awards” (Italy) in the category ‘Urban Regeneration’; he was shortlisted at the “German Design Awards 2016” (Germany) in the category ‘Public Space and Infrastructure’. Moreover, he got the WAF Prize 2009 in the category ‘Future Projects Infrastructure’ and a special mention at the “MIPIM AR AWARDS 2010 Big Urban Projects”.

He has participated in international venues and his work has been published in UK, China, Germany and Spain. A book on his theoretical work, “Crossbred Parcelation: Postsuburban Colonizing Patterns in Mexico City”, has been recently published in Germany by VDM Publishing. He is currently working in a project for the Centro Cultural Toma, in Zacatecas, by the local government.