The 3D Map of Mexico City is a giant model used for urban and regional studies of the city. Measuring some 13 x 18 meters, it’s also the backdrop for multimedia presentations. These are beamed down from a bank of overhead video projectors. For international visitors, it’s not just a jaw-dropping work of 3D printing and modelmaking. It’s also a great way to learn some of Mexico City’s history, and of course, its enormous geographic layout and setting.
Officially known as the Gran Maqueta de la Ciudad de México, in City lore, it’s spoken of as though it’s always been there. In fact, the Grand Maquete was only officially unveiled in 2017. This was after a team of some 60 craftspeople labored to bring the 1:2500 scale model to life. Even at that scale, (1 square centimeter = 25 square meters), some of the very south of the City had to be lobbed off.
The entire giant model is presented within a historical theater. The Teatro de las Vizcaínas stands on the site of an older theater associated with the Colegio de las Vizcaínas. The building was remodeled in 2016, in part to house the giant model. The theater renovation work was carried out by Bandada! studio under lead architect, Miquel Adrià. In these pages, the firm is best known for the innovative work they did on the Mercado la Purísima in Iztapalapa.
The maquete was closed for renovation and re-opened in December of 2022. Today, the screenings over the map are titled “México Tenochtitlán el imperio de los lagos,” “Latido milenario,” “Agua en la ciudad,” and “Movilidad integral y sustentable de la Ciudad de México.” Screenings take place twice each day, but are presented in Spanish only at the moment.
Hours: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturdays by appointment only.
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