National Pavilion of Biodiversity, Mexico

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The National Pavilion of Biodiversity, nestled in UNAM’s cultural corridor at Ciudad Universitaria, marks a significant addition to the institution. This project serves a dual purpose: to expand and safeguard the Institute of Biology’s archive and to establish thematic laboratories dedicated to the scientific examination of Latin America’s most extensive collection of deceased species.

Conceptually, the architectural design embodies a radial concept, drawing inspiration from the Tree of Life, which symbolises the interconnectedness of all living entities. Positioned at the core of the building, the staircase represents the DNA’s double helix, the genetic blueprint underpinning all life forms on Earth.

Architecturally, this central staircase serves as the vital link uniting various spaces within the pavilion. It forms the nexus from which pathways extend to exhibition halls, the archive, and laboratories, creating a radial arrangement that mirrors the boundless diversity found in nature.

Regarding materials, the pavilion’s design harmonises with its surroundings. A glass façade complemented by aluminium elements and a base crafted from indigenous stone establish a direct connection with the natural environment.

Spanning an impressive 11,000 sq m, the pavilion encompasses exhibition spaces, multimedia rooms, a digital library, office spaces, storage facilities, and laboratories, all thoughtfully distributed across three levels, adhering to the radial layout concept.

In the architectural layout, every level is meticulously organized into three concentric rings. The first ring, originating from the center and featuring vertical circulation elements and permanent exhibitions, is devoted to public activities. The succeeding ring serves private functions, housing the invaluable collections. Finally, the outermost ring, positioned along the perimeter of the façade, is designated for specialized consultation areas, laboratories, and curatorial offices.

This deliberate mix of spaces on each floor fosters meaningful interaction among the diverse users of the building, bridging the gap between temporary and permanent occupants. The circular floor plan serves a dual purpose: firstly, it unifies all spaces around a single vertical core, streamlining the flow within the pavilion. Secondly, it creates panoramic vistas of the surrounding 360-degree natural landscape. The dynamic façade, resembling the ebb and flow of a wave, adapts to the specific requirements of the program, allowing for a harmonious blend of indoor and outdoor elements while showcasing the breathtaking natural scenery.