Bacalar Eco-Park / Colectivo C733
Text description provided by the architects. Observatory of the mangrove, the lagoon, and the stars. The Bacalar Lagoon is the largest freshwater bacterial reef in the world. It is one of the few places where living stromatolites exist, an invaluable evolutionary treasure.
It is also the only remaining mangrove on the edge of the Bacalar village lagoon, and it is exposed to enormous fragility due to urban growth.
The main strategy of the project was to minimize the requested program and act with sharpness in order to wander through the natural richness of the flora and fauna of the site, affecting it as little as possible.
A square dock of 200m per side was built, facing north and with variable height to avoid touching the mangroves and trees, and to slide smoothly along the lagoon. Solid spaces house a research laboratory and services, which can be extended to a shaded plain through tall trees.
An efficient structural system was generated, built with local and certified chicozapote wood, finding the right measure to be a column, beam, and foundation at the same time.
In addition, the landscape strategy was strengthened with the reduction of construction, designed to mitigate the pollution of the water runoff from the village, through natural filters, depressions, and rain gardens, as well as the rehabilitation of degraded mangroves.
Finally, scaled museography was incorporated into the tour, as a timeline of 10,000 years, engraving the unique biodiversity history on wood. Visitors are invited to become aware of and conserve the place, as well as to engage in the social management of a public and free space for the residents of Bacalar.