Bacalar Eco-Park

Colectivo C733  

The Mexican firm Colectivo C733 – Carlos Facio, Eric Valdez, Israel Espín, Gabriela Carrillo, José Amozurrutia – were commissioned to design the Bacalar Eco-Park, which covers 1,900 square meters in an area of 70,000. The main objective was to minimize the requested program, affecting a natural environment of immeasurable value as little as possible.

The Bacalar Lagoon is home to the world’s largest freshwater bacterial reef. These rock-resembling structures formed by thousands of microbes have an age range that goes from a few decades to more than 9,000 years, says Luisa Falcón, a microbial ecologist of the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Mérida. The living part of the microbialite, the stromatolites, are about 3.5 billion years old.

Built with local wood, a dock that forms a square at a variable height leads visitors along a path that slides smoothly along the water, rising at certain points to keep from touching the threatened mangrove. This efficient structural system works as a column, beam, and foundation all at once, and incorporates a timeline engraved on wood, teaching visitors about the unique biodiversity of the place.