The Quebradora water treatment complex wins gold medal
A water treatment complex that combines much-needed infrastructure with public space in a sprawling, densely populated borough of Mexico City has won the top prize in an international design competition.
Construction materials company LafargeHolcim awarded the gold medal in its 5th Global Awards for Sustainable Construction to La Quebradora Water Park in Iztapalapa.
The four-hectare facility features public buildings, plazas and recreation areas as well as water treatment facilities and basins, which catch rain and mitigate flooding during downpours.
Loreta Castro Reguera of the architectural firm Taller Capital led the project’s design team along with Manuel Perló Cohen, a researcher at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).
The facility was entered in the LafargeHolcim competition under the title “Hydropuncture: Publicly-accessible water retention and treatment complex.”
Iztapalapa is Mexico City’s largest and poorest borough and faces significant water problems. Many residents are not connected to the city’s water system, forcing them to rely on water that is trucked in.
But La Quebradora helps to alleviate water shortages by capturing and recycling water that would otherwise be lost.
The head of the competition’s jury, Alejandro Aravena, explained that the water treatment project won gold because “it builds large urban infrastructures that serve multiple purposes and become civic spaces.”
The Quebradora project previously won first place in the regional awards for Latin America, qualifying it for the global final.
A video posted by LafargeHolcim after the project claimed its initial prize explains that “the awards jury was impressed by the equal attention given to technical considerations of water management, social provision of public space, the economics of construction and a long-term maintenance.”
“Moreover, the design is spatially compelling by articulating the logic of the water,” the video says.
Mexico City Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera described the LafargeHolcim prize as “extremely important,” adding that La Quebradora is the first project of its kind in Latin America.
All told, there were 5,000 projects entered in the competition representing 131 countries.
Source: Mexico News Daily