News

The Upside Down Skyscraper

Architects have designed an incredible 65-storey 'earth scraper' that plunges 300 metres below ground.

The stunning upside down pyramid in the middle of Mexico City has been designed as a concept to get around height limits on new buildings in the capital.

The subterranean building has 10 storeys each for homes, shops and a museum, as well as 35 stories for offices. A glass floor covers the massive 240m x 240m hole in the city's main square to filter in natural light from the world above.The design has been crowned with a Mexican flag.

Esteban Suarez from architecture firm BNKR Arquitectura said the building would also house a new cultural centre.

He said: "New infrastructure, office, retail and living space are required in the city but no empty plots are available.

"Federal and local laws prohibit demolishing historic buildings and even if this was so, height regulations limit new structures to eight storeys.

"The city's historic centre is in desperate need of a makeover but we have nowhere to put it, this means the only way to go is down."

He added: "The earth scraper preserves the iconic presence of the city square and the existing hierarchy of the buildings that surround it.

"It is an inverted pyramid with a central void to allow all habitable spaces to enjoy natural lighting and ventilation.

"The massive hole will be covered with a glass floor that allows the life of the earth scraper to blend with everything happening on top.

"It will also allow the numerous activities that take place on the city square year round such as concerts, open-air exhibitions and military parades to go ahead."

When the Aztecs first came into the Valley of Mexico they built their pyramids on the lake they found there.

When a new and bigger pyramid was conceived as the Aztec Empire grew in size and power, they did not search for a new site, they just built it on and around the existing one.

In this manner, the pyramids are composed of different layers of historical periods. When the Spanish arrived in America and ultimately conquered the Aztecs, they erected their Christian temples atop their pyramids.

Eventually their whole colonial city was built on top of the Aztec one. In the 20th century, many colonial buildings were demolished and modern structures raised on the existing historic foundations.

Esteban added: "The Earthscraper digs down through the layers of cities to uncover our roots."

Images: BNKR Arquitectura / Solent News / Rex Features