The 71-hectare Campus Biometropolis masterplan lies to the south of Mexico City, close to a cluster of hospital buildings and the research laboratories of Mexico’s national university, UNAM. Building on these connections to establish a centre of medical excellence, the project aims to attract top academics and researchers to the region, with world-class healthcare facilities. Specialist units are planned to target six key areas of medicine: cancer, cardiovascular, infectious diseases, pharmaceuticals, nutrition and geriatric medicine. The facilities for patient care, education and research are set in therapeutic natural surroundings and are combined with places to live, offices, shops, a hotel and recreational spaces to create a low carbon, mixed-use community.
The site is within the city’s Pedregal lava fields, a network of subterranean tunnels and caves formed by ancient volcanic eruptions more than 2,000 years ago. In the 1940s, a section of the lava fields to the east of the campus was transformed into the Jardines del Pedregal by Mexican architect, Luis Barragan. The project echoes Barragan’s ecological approach by sensitively arranging the buildings around the geological formations and, in places, allowing scientific exploration of the caves. More than half of the site is open, made up of a wilderness nature reserve, parkland and landscaped public piazzas. Collectively, these areas help to absorb water into Mexico City’s aquifer, in addition to rainwater collected on roofs, road and available space.
Entirely car free at ground level, parking is provided beneath a raised podium. Responding to the specific climate of Mexico City and the existing urban grain, the buildings are oriented to capture prevailing winds from the north and shade pedestrian streets and courtyards. Walking distances are short and electric or bio-fuel vehicles will transport people around the campus. The scheme is designed to encourage the use of public transport and take advantage of the existing infrastructure. A Metrobus connection to the nearby university station will fully utilise the available capacity on a quieter section of the line.
Client: Grupo de Diseño Urbano (GDU)
M+E Engineer: PHA Consult
Additional Consultants: GDU, Felipe Ochoa y Asociados SC, Ingenieria de Transito y Transporte SA de CV, Mobility in Chain, PHA Consult
The arrangement of buildings in the campus navigates a course around the Pedregal lava fields, a network of subterranean lava tube formations and caves, sections of which will be exposed to encourage scientific investigation.
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