Liverpool Department Stores, the largest department store chain in Mexico, contracted Thomas Balsley Associates to design a green roof and park to be placed over its new flagship location in the upscale Mexico City neighborhood of Interlomas. In an area that currently suffers from a dearth of public open space, the new Sky Park gives locals a retreat from urban life and serves as a green roof prototype for future big-box retail developments in Mexico. The rooftop park’s extensive program is distributed around a food market and consists of discrete precincts for children’s play, teenagers, husbands, events and fashion shows: a terrace, event plaza, lawns and intimate seating.
By circumventing the food court, a promenade accommodates both circulation needs and movable café seating, establishing an armature for additional nodes of activity and use. Further out in the radius of the plan, the entire rooftop is ringed by a landscape of indigenous planting, flowering trees and shrubs, vines and perennials. Landform modulations and complex subsurface accommodations have allowed for 14” caliper specimen oaks to be strategically placed throughout the park where scale and shade are best introduced.
The palette of materials for the rooftop is cool and restrained: the promenade is a rich wood deck and the seat walls that carve out spaces are a pure white pre-cast concrete. Steel reaches skyward in the form of a shade structure, vine trellis, and feature wall. The serpentine and stepped teen court looks onto an illuminated glass walkway that will become a fashion runway for monthly events. Water is another important element that is carefully incorporated into the park to animate and buffer spaces, to provide a compelling sense of play and whimsy, and to introduce an air of serenity and mystery. Water runnels and a mist forest sculpture activate the play area, fog formations cool the air and add nighttime drama to the fashion runway.