Simon Velez designed the Nomadic Museum to house the Gregory Colbert "Ashes and Snow" exhibit in 2008 for the Zócalo, Mexico City. It was the largest bamboo structure ever created. The structure occupied 5,130-square meters (55,218 square feet) and contained two galleries and three distinct theaters. For the first time, the Nomadic Museum incorporated water as a design element to recall the unique history of Mexico City, which was once surrounded by canals. This architectural choice honored the symbolic significance of the Zócalo as the center of Mexico-Tenochtitlan, a city founded by the Aztecs on a small island in the middle of Lake Texcoco in 1325.