La Antigua Merced


A commission by the Authority for the Historic Centre of Mexico City to develop a strategic masterplan for the reactivation of La Merced, one of the most emblematic barrios in the city.

Satelite view of the historic centre of Mexico City

La Antigua Merced

Once a thriving market district with a rich history as the centre for supply and trade of goods to Mexico City, La Merced suffered serious economic, cultural and physical decay since the relocation of the City’s wholesale market in the 1980s. Whilst some traditional businesses remain, the original splendour of the area has declined following decades of neglect.

Historical photograph of La Merced, Mexico City

The project seeks to expose the commercial, cultural and artistic potential of the neighbourhood as a means to drive its regeneration.

Several interconnected lines of intervention are proposed for the renovation of existing buildings and urban fabric, along with improvement of infrastructure, public space and facilities.

The project runs in conjunction with a community-led recovery plan to safeguard and promote the valuable heritage and traditional identity of the neighbourhood.

Images of everyday life, trade and traditions of La Merced neighbourhood, Mexico City

Manzanares Market & Calle Roldán as regenerative elements

Key to the scheme is the refurbishment of Manzanares Market - a large, semi-abandoned depot in the centre of La Merced that will be converted to provide contemporary retail space for local traders, alongside a cultural programme offering space for exhibitions, workshops and restaurants serving traditional cuisine produced in the area.

Satelite view of Manzanares Market, Barrio de La Merced, Mexico City

The building is seen as a nucleus for the barrio and a catalyst for regeneration, providing a focal point where both modern and traditional practices are celebrated and brought together.


The scheme extends beyond the market building to merge with the public space of Calle Roldán, the main North-South axis through the barrio connecting the Plazas of Santísima, Alhóndiga and Alonso García Bravo.


Project carried out as co-founding Director of Artefact Estudio, with Arq. Ricardo López Rivas.

Additional research in collaboration with social historian Lic. Cecilia Barraza.

Client: Autoridad del Centro Histórico


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