Construction: OMESA, Jesús Ortiz Calderón, Javier Robles Santisteban, Francisco Javier Lara Vélez
Structural Calculation: DECSA, Ricardo Camacho
Installations: BANAH DE MÉXICO, Fortino Moctezuma
Cliente 1: National Fund Institute for Workers' Housing INFONAVIT
Client 2: Research Center for Susainable Development CIDS
Text description provided by the architects. Commissioned by CIDS and INFONAVIT — the main Mexican Housing Institutions reshaping Mexico’s mortgage market and promoting sustainable housing development —Los Héroes Park, is part of a wider programme rethinking public space to revert the poor conditions of social housing over the last 30 years and heal the scars of abandoned properties and social segregation that affect the urban outskirts of the country.
The makeover of Parque Los Héroes, located in the Unidad Habitacional de Los Héroes Sección III in the city of Toluca de Lerdo, consisted of renovating the existing pavement using a single modulus, in order to articulate different spaces and define new activities. The unit is an hexagonal cobblestone which, like a pixel, modifies the topography and favours a flexible space layout. To complement the proposal, a tree grid of 100 new pieces — each located at a three-metre distance, has been installed. Including children’s playgrounds, a football and a basketball court, and a skating ring, the park is inclusive and has been designed to improve the life quality of the adjacent housing units and primary school.
Although they have been designed according to specific natural and social conditions, both projects feature common elements, thus ensuring harmony among the built and natural environments that can be repeated or integrated into a system that is potentially applicable to any other context.
One is the floor cement block, which can be easily adapted to any layout, be it natural or artificial. The creative combination of the blocks and in-situ poured concrete filling, generate new patterns like an urban tapestry. The second is the playground system: the various concrete walls and metal bars can be arranged in multiple configurations, thereby constituting different spaces that are suitable for all uses and users.
More than just oases to help citizens reconnect with nature, the parks are tools for engagement and environmentalism. Through the transformation of suburban areas into green recreational spaces embedded in the city fabric, Parque Héroes are fast becoming a beloved urban spot for residents.