Parque La Mexicana is a 70-acre urban green space centrally located in the Santa Fe neighborhood of Mexico City. The area is home to over 5,000 trees, two lakes, a skatepark, an amphitheater, playgrounds, a dog park, bike paths, a running track, restaurants, and so much more. This award-winning, one-of-a-kind park is designed to be financially self-sufficient, strategically partnering with retailers as an integral part of its business plan.
When Costco Wholesale, which sought to take up residence in the Santa Fe district, became one of those retail partners, the company collaborated closely with MG2, the community, city, and the park itself to ensure the aesthetic and functional unity of Costco’s built environments into the existing landscapes, resources, and sustainable operations. In addition to hurdles presented by the site’s environment, teams faced the incredible challenge of virtually hiding the entirety of Costco’s massive warehouse, parking structure, and loading bays from public view.
The resulting structures are, arguably, one of the most sustainable, beautifully designed Costco Wholesale developments in the world.
Strategic Value Engineering
Constructed on a former landfill site, Costco Santa Fe’s location also resides in a high-seismic area in Mexico City, creating soil variables and structure risks. In order to mitigate both challenges, designers implemented the use of piles and a pre-engineered metal building, which simultaneously reduced overall cost and contributed to its LEED-ready design.
Hiding a Costco in Plain Sight
To achieve this feat, designers worked to physically and operationally integrate Costco’s structures with the surrounding park, further going above and beyond by matching—or exceeding—the park and the city’s sustainability standards.
With just one side of the building fully exposed to the public, the remaining three are strategically hidden from view, blended into the existing landscape. “Montanitas”, or tall berms covered in native plants, trees, and grasses work double duty to camouflage the warehouse exteriors while minimizing the irrigation and water usage required to allow them to flourish. Green facade screens with native crawling vegetation planted at its base as well as cascading down from the roof above will grow over time to further obscure the warehouse and parking structure’s appearance.
A Green Roof Unlike Any Other
The warehouse’s 144,522 sq/ft metal deck high-performance green roof—three times bigger than any other landscaped space for a Costco in Mexico—was meticulously curated with thousands of native plants and grasses spanning 21 varieties, each reviewed and approved by local environmental agencies. In partnership with Secretaria de Medio Ambiente, insect “hotels” have also been installed, further nurturing nearby flora.
The roof was custom engineered to collect and transport stormwater runoff to the park for landscape amenities such as fountains and ponds. Unique waterproofing and leak-detection systems were also developed to ensure the facility’s rainwater accumulation and operations function correctly and prevent water from seeping through the membrane.
Due to the roof’s green-centric design, the installation of standard HVAC systems required customization. Just one block of machinery lives atop the building, while additional mechanics, including air handling units designed to chill the warehouse with cold water, reside underneath.
Seamless Integration with Community & Recreation
Atop the parking structure: a veritable playground for city residents and visitors, purposely designed with sustainability, wellness, and community in mind, and seamlessly blended into the existing Parque Mexicana beyond. Carefully configured, a fútbol field, paddle ball court, and hybrid basketball/volleyball courts sweep across the roof, while a pedestrian bridge extends the existing jogging path, looping it back into the park.
Adjacently overhead Costco’s receiving area lies a beginner’s skate park, designed for children and novice skateboarders, BMX bikers, and roller skaters to get the hang of basics before graduating to more advanced half pipes, ramps, and rails.
The one-of-a-kind design, solidifying the concealment of the Costco warehouse, parking structure, and loading bays, unifies the amenities’ connections to the established park experience while offering a new array of spaces for the community and visitors alike to enjoy.