American Society of Landscape Architects ASLA 2008 Professional Awards
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Master Plan of Historical Chapultepec Park (185 hectares) (Photo: Francisco Gómez Sosa)
Aerial view of the project location. (Photo: Francisco Gómez Sosa)
Plan and section of fountain promenade. (Photo: Francisco Gómez Sosa)
Study Model; existing trees create geometry. (Photo: Francisco Gómez Sosa)
Site before intervention. (Photo: Francisco Gómez Sosa)
Promenade and seating area. (Photo: Francisco Gómez Sosa)
Furniture, cascade detail and pedestrian crossing to the park. (Photo: Francisco Gómez Sosa)
Agapanthus, seating detail and cobble stones around trees. (Photo: Francisco Gómez Sosa)


Fountain Promenade at Chapultepec Park, Mexico City, Mexico
Grupo De Diseño Urbano SC, Mexico
client: Mexico City Government, Citizen’s Regent Group and Revive Chapultepec Board of Donors

"A remarkable restoration project in one of the most historic parks in Mexico. The landscape architect added sustainable practices within the park in terms of maintenance and for park visitors as well. It is so evocative of the city’s context and really captured the sense of place."

— 2008 Professional Awards Jury Comments

PROJECT NARRATIVE: Historical and recent background.
Chapultepec Park is probably the oldest park in the Americas, since there is evidence of Nezahualcoyotl’s interventions as designer of emperor Montezuma’s pleasure gardens since the 1460’s. It was officially dedicated as a park by the King of Spain in 1530 in Mexico’s colonial era. It was also Maximilian’s palace and gardens (Chapultepec Palace) during the brief period of the French intervention in Mexico in the 1860’s. An important battle of the Mexican-American war was fought in Chapultepec in 1847. More recently, as we know it today, Chapultepec was redesigned and transformed into the main park of Mexico City from 1906 to 1907, re-opening in 1910.

Various groups of citizens approached the Mayor of Mexico City in 2001, organized into a Citizen’s Regent Group (Consejo Rector Ciudadano) and a Board of Donors (Fideicomiso Revive Chapultepec). These groups together with the City officials and Park Administrators set themselves the job to look at the park extensively and integrally and to come up with a Master Plan and set of actions to restore the park. In an effort with no parallel in Mexico, half of the money for restoration has been collected from donations, including 1 million donors at metro stations and supermarkets, and private donations by corporations and important donors.

Master Plan and First Phase in Historical 1st Section of Chapultepec Park.
Our office was selected to conduct the master planning, develop specific projects and site coordination and collaborate in presentations (including media, citizen’s groups and donors). The Master Plan was divided in phases and proposed to intervene in 16 sections of the park. The first phase was concluded in June 2005 and the second phase was finished in December 2006.

The first phase included 5 groups of actions:

1) Infrastructure and Water. Including water quality improvement for lakes and canals, (aeration, dredging, recycling) irrigation, and main piping connection to existing water treatment plant;

2) Forest Restoration. Tree clearing, pruning and cleaning; soil aeration and fertilization through mulching; removal and capture of rats and other pests; saving, holding and reintroducing fish, crayfish and salamanders during lake dredging;

3) Lighting. New park lighting and artistic lighting of main monumental entry axis; with new signage, benches and garbage receptacles.

4) Services. Design, construction of food courts and carts and relocation of street vendors; improvement of public restrooms; new boat docks and facilities;

5) Access. Redesign and restoration of two main entrances, including paths and gardens.

The park was closed for 7 months and reopened to continue the second phase with visitors.

The second phase includes: a) a new small botanical garden; b) a fountain-promenade to reconnect the Museum of Anthropology with the Tamayo Museum of Contemporary Art;
c) adaptive reuse of new office spaces for park officials; new maintenance areas for the park’s equipment; d) restoration and redesign of additional park areas and irrigation; e) archaeological restoration of Moctezuma’s bath. The investment in the first two phases is of 25 million US (half collected from donations).

Tamayo and Gandhi Parks Restoration.

One of the major interventions in the rehabilitation of the second phase of Chapultepec Park are: Tamayo Park (12 hectares) and Gandhi Park (8.2 ha.) As outlined in the original Master Plan, the intention was reinhabit and attract families and users to and otherwise under use area. The strategy was through specific and discrete interventions such as: a) A fountain promenade (250 meters long by 20 meters wide) connecting the National Museum of Anthropology with the Tamayo Contemporary Art Museum, creating a new pedestrian axis-“paseo” through the park.

The fountain cascades and water travel through existing trees which were incorporated as part of the simple design geometry. Additional comfortable seating designed by the authors was incorporated to the promenade creating a wonderful urban oasis of rest and enjoyment.
Additional interventions include a picnic pergola to attract families to the park, next to a new children’s play area.

A general simple system of paths was designed in the park, together with tree restoration, pruning and cleaning. New lighting and artistic lighting along the fountain promenade.
The reception and use of the park has been dramatically increased. The Fountain Promenade has became a new identity in this otherwise neutral area of Chapultepec Park. Tamayo Museum entrance has increased substantially since the re-opening of the Park.


Landscape Architecture, Master Planning and Construction Supervision:
Mario Schjetnan, Director, GDU
José Luis Pérez, Project Manager, GDU
Marco A. González, Project Manager, GDU
Gustavo Rojas, Project Coordination, GDU
Juan Carlos Guerra, Project Coordination, GDU
Ingrid Flores, Project Development, GDU
Tomás Hernández, Project Development, GDU
Eriberto Martínez, Project Development, GDU
Daniel Olvera, Graphic Design and Urban Furniture, GDU
Jesús Santillán, Project Development, GDU
Stepan Spoula, Project Development, GDU
Karime Tosca, Project Development, GDU
Ana Yumbe, Project Development, GDU

Mario Schjetnan, Director, GDU
Marco A. González, Project Manager, GDU
Francisco Luna, Project Development, Jiménez Trigos + Luna Ugarte
Mario Schjetnan, Director, GDU
Marco A. González, Project Manager, GDU
Félix Sánchez, Architect, Project Manager, Sánchez y Arquitectos

Archaeological Project:
Guadalupe Espinosa, Project Coordinator, INAH

Hydraulic Engineering and Irrigation:
Francisco J. Garza Cuellar, Engineer, Project Manager

Electrical Engineering:
Nestor Lugo Zaleta, Architect, Project Manager

Structural Engineering:
Enrique Clever Medrano, Engineer, Project Manager

Urban Forestry:
Daniel Rivas Torres, Engineer, Project Coordinator

Soil Engineering:
Jaime Alberto Rey Contreras

David Cibrián Tovar. PHD

Fauna Control:
Juan Cruzado Cortés, Biologist, Project Coordinator, UNAM

Graphic Design:
Daniel Olvera and Alejandra Lerdo de Tejada

Historic Research and Architectural Restoration:
Alfonso Hueytlet



Furniture detail and fountain next to Tamayo Contemporary Art Museum Plaza. (Photo: Francisco Gómez Sosa)
Agapanthus on planters and pre-existing trees. (Photo: Francisco Gómez Sosa)
Agapanthus, seating and enjoyment of promenade. (Photo: Francisco Gómez Sosa)
Bands of vinca minor ground cover, cobble stone and basalt stone concrete pavers. (Photo: Francisco Gómez Sosa)
New picnic pergola at Tamayo Park. (Photo: Francisco Gómez Sosa)
New picnic pergola at Tamayo Park, attract new groups of people. (Photo: Francisco Gómez Sosa)
Gandhi Park, new running paths attract sportmen/women. (Photo: Francisco Gómez Sosa)
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