Los Angeles, CA


Mercado el Alto

Mercado el Alto has evolved over 100 years as a local marketplace. The next evolution for Mercado is as a landmark reflecting the culture through local building forms, materials, and craftsmanship while drawing on the landscape of Puebla, which sits in a valley beneath one of Mexico’s highest volcanoes.

The design preserves the 1930s stepped parapet and arched openings in the façade but reimagines the program as a microcosm of the city. The open-air ground floor blends into the urban fabric and connects into the public pedestrian plaza outside. The new mezzanine is elevated for views of the numerous chapels and distant highland biodiversity, represented in the perimeter planting. A new roof hovers above, recalling the clouds constantly at the peak of Popocatepetl.

Riffing on the typical local arcades, the roof form layers arches in offset cadence, creating a dynamic ceiling that frames rooms and connects occupants to distant vistas.

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Status: Unbuilt
Location: Puebla, Mexico
Firm Role: Architect