Introducing... the earth-scraper: Architects design 65-storey building which plunges 300 metres below ground
By Hugo Gye
Architects have designed an incredible 65-storey 'earth-scraper' which plunges 300 metres below ground.
The stunning upside down pyramid in the middle of Mexico City is designed to get around height limits on new buildings in the capital.
The subterranean building will have 10 storeys each for homes, shops and a museum, as well as 35 storeys for offices.
The design has been crowned with a Mexican flag.
Esteban Suarez, from architecture firm BNKR Arquitectura, said the building would also house a new cultural centre.
'Federal and local laws prohibit demolishing historic buildings and even if this was so, height regulations limit new structures to eight storeys.
'The city's historic centre is in desperate need of a makeover but we have nowhere to put it, this means the only way to go is down.'
He added: 'The Earthscraper preserves the iconic presence of the city square and the existing hierarchy of the buildings that surround it.
'It is an inverted pyramid with a central void to allow all habitable spaces to enjoy natural lighting and ventilation.
'It will also allow the numerous activities that take place on the city square year round such as concerts, open-air exhibitions and military parades to go ahead.'
When the Aztecs first came into the Valley of Mexico they built their pyramids on the lake they found there.
As the Aztec Empire grew in size and power they conceived a new and bigger pyramid, but instead of looking for a new site they just built it on and around the existing one.
The traditional pyramids are therefore composed of different layers of historical periods.
Eventually their whole colonial city was built over the Aztec one. In the 20th century, many colonial buildings were demolished and modern structures raised on the existing historic foundations.
Esteban added: 'The Earthscraper digs down through the layers of cities to uncover our roots.'