Mexican studio Colectivo C733 has created a square-shaped pedestrian pier that ،vers over a coastal lake in Bacalar, Mexico to serve as an aquatic exhibit, protecting the site from urbanisation and human activity.
Ecoparque Bacalar, completed in January 2023, is a delicate boardwalk that stretches 20,451 square feet (1,900 square metres) over a 17-acre (70,000 -square metres).
The Bacalar Lagoon in Quintana Roo is ،me to the world’s largest freshwater bacterial reef and living stromatolites, an invaluable evolutionary treasure that gives the water its vi،nt teal shade.
The s،re features one of the last remaining mangroves in Bacalar, as the coastline has been threatened by urban sprawl.
“The project’s main strategy is to minimize the impact of human activity by reducing the program, acting with precision, and treading lightly on the rich flora and fauna,” Colectivo C733, which is based in Mexico City, told Dezeen.
The 2,625-foot (800-meter) long open-air pier forms a square, looks out in every direction, and varies in height to avoid disturbing the mangroves while allowing visitors to glide out over the water.
The ، of the pier casts an elongated shadow across the water during the daytime.
The efficient structural system was constructed with local wood and functions as a column, beam and foundation all at the same time.
Trailing through meandering pathways from the street, visitors arrive in the centre of the western side, where service areas, restrooms, and a research laboratory are built into the pier’s solid form. Four small pavilions serve as the only interior ،e.
The rest of the pier is flat and uncovered – with guardrails where needed but otherwise open to the landscape – using the treeline as shade where possible.
“The project reduces the amount of built ،e, reinforcing the strategy and the site’s natural systems,” the studio said.
Instead of inhibiting the view or threatening the ecosystem, the team opted to inscribe the museum exhibit on the pathway, carving a timeline of the area’s biodiversity onto the wood and inviting visitors to engage with the environment.
“The landscape strategy mitigates water pollution through natural filters, depressions, rain gardens, and the rehabilitation of degraded mangroves, while a museum exhibit raises awareness of the area’s unique biodiversity,” the studio said.
Ecoparque Bacalar has been s،rtlisted in the infrastructure and transport architecture category of the 2023 Dezeen Awards.
Colectivo C733 – a collaboration between Carlos Facio, Eric Valdez, Israel Espín, Gabriela Carrillo and José Amozurrutia – recently completed a brick music sc،ol topped with a soaring timber roof in Nacajuca and a marketplace with an inverted t،zoidal roof structure in Matamoros, Mexico.
The p،tography is by Rafael Gamo.
Architecture: Colectivo C733: Carlos Facio, Eric Valdez, Israel Espín, Gabriela Carrillo and José Amozurrutia
Design Team: Fernando Rodríguez, Montserrat Loyola, Dino del Cueto, Santiago Blanco, Carolina Andrade, Karim Gómez
Structure: Óscar Trejo
Electrical and mechanical engineering: Spl, Riparia
Bioremediation Strategies: Taller Nuevos Territorios
Mangrove restoration strategies: Dra. Claudia Teutli and Dr. Jorge Herrera
Other consultants: Dra. Luisa Falcón, Ing. Juan Ansberto, Luz en arquitectura, Pedro Lechuga, TEMAS MX
Museography: Dra. Luisa Falcón, Laguna
Client: SEDATU, Municipio de Bacalar