Ambitious architecture and Mexico City seldom appear in the same sentence due to the government's strict building code, but BNKR Arquitectura has found a way by thinking outside of the box, or, rather, underneath the surface. The architecture firm has unveiled plans to build an underground structure, dubbed the "Earthscraper" in the city's main square that would adhere to local regulations. BNKR has proposed an inverted building that would extend 65 stories below ground.
The structure would be shaped like an upside down pyramid, with a central void to allow natural light and air ventilation to reach all 65 stories. The first few floors of the Earthscraper would be a combination of residential areas, retail space and a museum focusing on Aztec and Mayan artifacts while the rest of the 35 floors would be designated for offices, according to Overclockers Club. To preserve the many cultural activities that take place in the main square, BNKR proposes to incorporate a giant glass window on top of the structure.
The Earthscraper aims to solve the city's growing infrastructure problem by adding new space, which many have found difficult because of a local law that states buildings may not exceed eight stories. In addition, preservation of historical buildings and the scarcity of usable land has deterred many from addressing the city's growing need for space. Many have questioned the usefulness of such a project due to Mexico City's vulnerability to earthquakes and other environmental disasters, but BNKR believes strongly in the project. The firm was quoted on i09.com, saying: "The Earthscraper is the Skyscrapers antagonist in a historic urban landscape where the latter is condemned and the preservation of the built environment is the paramount ambition." Watch a video of the plans for the Earthscraper below: