Monday, January 18, 2010

Azteca Multimodal Transfer Station

Azteca Multimodal Transfer Station in Mexico City, Mexico by CC Arquitectos

This terminal for connecting various means of public transit (subway, buses, taxes, etc.) is located in the municipality of Ecatepec, arising from a synergy between it, the government of the State of Mexico and private enterprise investments. It's not clear if the last includes the Wal-Mart across the street, but in terms of scale the large terminal sits somewhere between the massive big-box store and the fine-grain surroundings, evident in the aerial linked above.

The design by CC Arquitectos shows a sensitivity to this context primarily by providing plazas at its north and south ends. The larger of the two is at the north, near the retail area across the street. To the west of new terminal is the subway station, linked to the transfer terminal by pedestrian bridges immediately adjacent to these plazas. As well as efficient circulation, the first and second floors also provide additional services like parking (on the roof), banking and other commercial services, and bathrooms. The lower level provide parking for buses.

Returning to the plazas, they accomplish a number of things: providing clear access points; allowing for the movement of large crowds; and giving Ecatepec public spaces of distinct character. The plaza designs integrate stairs, seating, planters (made with gabions), and metal panels articulated with graphics of children playing. The architects use the plazas to their advantage, as points to break down the large mass of the building. They articulate the masses on a smaller scale in these areas, also stepping down the building towards the open spaces.

The architects state that they studied and followed "international trends of managing pedestrian and vehicular traffic flows favoring the convenience of users." In plan the building is basically a mall with circulation running longitudinally down the center. But it is the vertical movement via stairs and escalators that does the most in ensuring a constant flow of people and the ability to knit the various modes of transportation together in one place. It is a commendable design that takes a large footprint and manages to fit itself into its context while giving something to the municipality.

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