Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
PLAZA MARIANA in Mexico City, Mexico by FR-EE – Fernando Romero Enterprise
March 25th, 2014 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: FR-EE – Fernando Romero Enterprise
Inaugurated in 2010 by President Felipe Calderón and Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard Causabon, the religious center of Plaza Mariana opened its doors to welcome over 20 million visitors annually. The 800 million peso development designed by FR-EE transforms and revitalizes the area around Basilica of Guadalupe in the northern part of Mexico City, which draws 1 million people on pilgrimage every December, second to the Vatican as the most popular Catholic attraction in the world.
FR-EE’s design for the 68 000m2 development is based on the coat of arms of Pope John Paul II, which features a Marian Cross with the letter M in one of its quadrants. Here, the M is replaced by the figure of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and the four quadrants of the volume are defined by a great glass cross that creates an aisle and provides access to the site from the Basilica’s Atrium of the Americas.
The building is divided into four main functions, the Evangelical Center with an auditorium for 850 people, a Guadalupe Museum, a 13 000m2 naturally lit and ventilated market place centralizing over a 1000 vendors who previously occupied the surrounding streets and a subterranean Columbarium for more than 120 000 burial urns. The functions are connected by and visually divided through the cross-shaped corridor lit by skylights.
The Columbarium is covered by a large public plaza above ground which offers informal seating to the neighborhood’s residents and the visitors of the religious center. The plaza connects the original Basilica of Guadalupe with the facilities at Plaza Mariana through the cross-shaped corridor, which is illuminated during the night and appears as a huge cross when flying over Mexico City.
To become the most-visited religious in the world, while at the same time modernizing Mexico City’s surrounding urban infrastructure
Site of historical significance for the Catholic Church with approximately 18 million pilgrims visiting the Basilica of Guadalupe each year
Designed to provide quality space to all visitors year round, including an evangelization center, a columbarium, a market, an interactive museum, a parking lot and a health center.