Tlatelolco its an icon of Modernity, a housing complex built for 100,000 inhabitants. It has been the setting for many significant moments of Mexico City history: The signing of the Tlatelolco treatise, the students’ protests in 1968 and the earthquake of 1985. The primary building of this massive housing compound is the Torre Insignia, a high-rise shaped like a rocket and visible across the city. It is a structural masterpiece: all of its columns are tilted at 70 degrees, and if you were able to strip the glass from the windows the structure wuld reveal itself as a dashing lattice.
Few years ago the government wanted to relocate the police headquarters there but the neighbors were strongly opposed. Having in mind the vocational void of the building the proposal consisted on a vertical park where the neighbors could apply for a parcel and have hundreds of horticulture units to grow their own food. I developed a serious plan with Jorge Covarrubias at the architectural studio Celula Arquitectura. The problem of making a “green skyscraper” of course, is water. If a water treatement plant were built, the output would meet the irrigation needs of the park. Then for pumping the water upwards solar energy panels could be installed on the blind western and eastern facades of the tower. A feasible project requiring an investment to be recovered in less than 10 years. The project has been published in newspapers and magazines announcing it as a “World Environmental Education Center.” Not specifying if its real or utopic. A strategy that maybe has been effective, because we are often asked when it will open. It is, in part, creating a rumor but also enabling a critical mass that could eventually make it happen.