Redefining Mexico City’s Gateway

Built in the footprint of former Lake Texcoco, Mexico City’s gateway, Benito Juárez International Airport sinks as the city’s aquifer is drained to support over 20 million inhabitants. With the airport vacated for firmer ground, designers Laura Durgerian, Mackinley Erickson and Sharon Fung look to the potential energy of settling ground and the byproducts of dense humanity—ingenuity, agency, and energy—to catalyze a mixed-life system. Densifying within existing runways and using the cells between as public lands and test plots, we layer research, education, commerce, transit, recreation, housing, water collection, public life, and shared resources to grow a flexible living and learning organism that provides a resource to surrounding lower-income communities, particularly those displaced by disaster. As the runways point to the city’s center, there is opportunity for an equitable east-west connection, bringing the city’s history—the Zócalo, Paseo de la Reforma, and Chapultepec Park—into conversation with its future dynamic urban ecology.


The Roof as a Public Good

Densified runways create constructed ridgelines from which people can overlook their city. A responsive roof collects water and solar energy. Transit connects people. Agriculture nourishes.

The Runway as a Living Spine

Scaffolding affords gradual, demand-based growth and infill. Unfolding umbrella piles collect, treat, store, and infiltrate water, while enabling vertical connections between runway and test plot. A network of smart roofs harnesses energy to power suspended streetcar transit.

Aerospina was published in Issue II of Extents. See the full Issue II: Materials + Matter here.

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