A thousand red pyramids in Mexico City

Tenzotle is a red volcanic rock that was used by the Aztecs, and later on the Spanish, to face their buildings. Red is still the dominant colour of  buildings in Mexico City’s historic area, and the colours tenzotle red and burnt sienna were used by architect  – Ricardo Legorreta  – and artist – Vicente Rojo – in the construction of Plaza Juárez, opposite Alameda Park in Mexico City.

Legoretta’s architectural projects are known for their use of colour, water and lattice work, and this project is a good example of that.

The fountain and pool designed with Rojo is in front of Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and screened from the busy Av. Juárez by a perpendicular grille through which the Juárez monument (Hemiciclo a Benito Juárez) in Alameda Park is visible.

The pool contains over a thousand concrete pyramids. In the image below, you can see that the sunken pool  has ledges around it that you can sit on; I noticed this feature of recessed space a lot during my visit to Mexico, and it’s something that really pulled at me and that I’m interested in exploring more.

The sunken pool

Examples of tenzotle stone facing a building in Mexico City:

Tenzotle stones used in building in Mexico Cityand used as gravel in a carpark:

Tenzotle gravel used a carpark


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