Xochimilco Masterplan & Aquarium
TEN Arquitectos

January 11, 2010 /

Mexico City, Mexico

Image courtesy TEN Arquitectos

The site, located in the natural preserve of Xochimilco, in the southern part of Mexico City, addresses a unique set of social, urban, and architectural challenges.

On the one hand, the existence of the lakes, the Chinampas farms and the Canals provides a very fertile ground for re-thinking the natural habitat and reconnecting it back to the city. However, serious air and water pollution problems, scarce hazardous waste disposal facilities, a population of which 40% is below poverty, and major migration from rural to urban centers, give new urgency to the need for new forms of sustainability.

Image courtesy TEN Arquitectos
Image courtesy TEN Arquitectos
The project by TEN Arquitectos embraces and improves the existing program of the Xochimilco park; an Olympic Rowing Track, a Flower Market, Cuemanco Sports Park, private sports clubs, research facilities, regulatory water basins, parking and archeological sites. Originally developed in unplanned, disconnected phases, its scattered elements are hard to reach and threatened by severe environmental issues. The new Master Plan reorganizes these elements in a single vertical strip of developed land that is closely related to the aquatic surroundings and regional history.

Image courtesy TEN Arquitectos
TEN Arquitectos additions to the program consist of an Aquarium; a Dolphinarium; an open Amphitheater; a Water Park; additional parking and public transportation facilities; a botanical garden; and private mixed use development. The central core of the program fosters modes of interaction, education and exploration for both the area's residents and its visitors.

Image courtesy TEN Arquitectos
Image courtesy TEN Arquitectos
Image courtesy TEN Arquitectos
Image courtesy TEN Arquitectos
Work is already underway to clean the water and make it drinkable. The refurbishment of the water basins and its future use as recreational facilities will dramatically increase the quality of life of the inhabitants of this neighborhood.

Xochimilco was declared an UNESCO world heritage on 1987. Thus, the project requires modifications to local land use regulations, adaptation to UNESCO site specifications and limitations, as well as the partial relocation of existing owners, users and residents. The Urban Development and Housing Ministry of the Mexican government (SEDUVI, in Spanish) oversees, evaluates, and approves all of the proposed changes.

Plan courtesy TEN ArquitectosSection
Image courtesy TEN ArquitectosMaster Plan

Facts about Xochimilco Masterplan & Aquarium


TEN Arquitectos
Enrique Norten
Salvador Arroyo
Victoria Grossi
David Maestres
John Newcomb
Humberto Arreola
Raymundo Pavan
Carmen Hernández
Par Simonson
Orlando Baltazar
Susan Armsby
César Crespo
Jonathan Barraza
Enrique Gómez.
Master Plan

Sustainability Consultant:

Arup Engineers

Vision and Image:

Bruce Mau Design

Landscape Architect:

Hargreaves Associates

Urban Infrastructure:

Nolte de Mexico



Local Landscape Architect:

Cabeza Arquitecto de Paisaje y Asociados

Structural Design: 
Alonso Ingenieros Asociados

Exhibition Design [Visitor's Experience]:

Bruce Mau

Exhibition Design [Aquatic Habitats]:


Life Support System:  

Syska Hennessy Group

Landscape Architect:

Hargreaves Associates

Sustainability Consultant:

Arup Engineers

Structural Design: 

Arup Engineers


Government of the Federal District

Last updated: December 19, 2013

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