So you think the Devon Energy Center, aka The Big Drill Bit in the Sky, is a big deal at 850 feet? Hmpf. The Mexicans are planning a structure that’s minus 980 feet.
Yes, that’s minus 980 feet:
Architects have designed an incredible 65-storey ‘earth-scraper’ which plunges 300 metres below ground.
The stunning upside down pyramid in the middle of Mexico City is designed to get around height limits on new buildings in the capital.
The subterranean building will have 10 storeys each for homes, shops and a museum, as well as 35 storeys for offices.
The concept looks something like this:
Esteban Suarez, from BNKR Arquitectura, whence comes the model, explains:
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.
The Bayou Renaissance Man sees a whole different sort of “makeover” on the horizon:
Mexico City is sitting right smack bang in the middle of a highly active earthquake zone. A major earthquake in 1985 killed at least 10,000 residents and caused massive damage to the city. Knowing that, would you really want to be living several hundred feet underground when the next major quake hits?
I dunno. When I think earthquakes, I think California — it’s where I felt my first non-trivial quake — and they don’t seem too worried. Heck, they build subways there:
Subways throughout the world have excellent records of withstanding major earthquakes over the last 25 years. They have performed well during earthquakes with no damage or service interruptions, including after the Northridge earthquake in 1994. The Metro Red Line tunnels cross the Hollywood fault north of the Hollywood & Highland Station.
Then again, subways, if reasonably undamaged, can move away at an angle to a quake. In this inverted pyramid, you’d better hope you can still go up and down.