INAH announces the winning project to protect the Pyramid of the Feathered Serpent in Teotihuacan
Teotihuacán, Edomex. Authorities from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) announced that the company Estudios Dos Puntos Arquitectura was the winner, out of more than 100 proposals, of the international competition for the design of the comprehensive protection system for the pyramid of the Feathered Serpent, which keeps a
accelerated process of deterioration that has been recorded for 18 years in the archaeological zone of Teotihuacan.
The general director of the INAH, Diego Prieto Hernández, indicated that the executive project would begin next year and it is expected that the construction of the pyramid’s protection and cover system will culminate in 2024; its cost will be more than 50 million pesos.
He explained that for the selection of the winner of the contest there was a jury that received and analyzed 113 proposals that came from Brazil, Italy, Japan and Mexico, of which they chose 17 because they were the ones that fulfilled the complete files; later 12 remained and finally three reached the final selection.
He stated that 14 jury sessions were held, one of which included a collegiate visit to the pyramid of Quetzalcoatl.
“Mexican society and the ancestral gods will thank us. We are in very good time to avoid deterioration of the facade of the pyramid of the Plumed Serpent and we can proceed with more confidence in order to stabilize and restore the elements that have been affected.
Now this contest ends, but a bigger task begins: to make the executive project and then to implement the solution. We will need around 50 million pesos, not 120 million that we thought at first.
He affirmed that the jury was made up of 18 specialists, including archaeologists, urban planners, engineers and architects, led in a first stage by the honorary president, Aída Castilleja González, and now José Luis Perea González, in addition to the former general coordinator Pedro Francisco Sánchez Nava, who passed away and was replaced by Lorenza López, national archeology coordinator, as well as archaeologists Saburo Sugiyama, Sergio Gómez and Rogelio Rivero.
At INAH we are very used to decisions being made collegially and by specialists, and that there are no discretionary authorities that reward your cousin or compadre. It is a plural jury, with feedback on proposals in an academic, systematic and democratic manner.
Prieto Hernández asked the INAH board of trustees to carry out a fundraising campaign to carry out the project.
Javier Moctezuma, representative of the winning company, Estudios Dos Puntos Arquitectura, made up of 26 people, explained that the strategy is to cover the pyramid and protect its façade from the sun, rain and hail, control the internal humidity of the pyramid, redirect the water, improve soil absorption, reduce wind speed to avoid erosion and continue with the conservation, conformation and monitoring work that is required before, during and after the projected works.
He pointed out that the cover will cover an area of the pyramid of 700 square meters, with 30 meters long by 26 meters wide and will use a material called ETFE, which is 10 times lighter than glass and has more durability.
He stressed that ETFE has a minimum durability of 30 years and is easy to maintain, since it is a plastic membrane in which dirt slides off with the first rain.
“The material comes in modules and it is easy to remove if one of them has any damage. One takes off and another one is put on; In addition, you can order the film you want. For example, a layer can have an impression that cushions the insolation that falls on the west facade. Lets light through but not UV rays. The cover is intended to mitigate the change in temperature that the stones have, which ranges from 0 to 50 degrees during the day.
The proposed cover has the characteristic of being only supported on the adjoining pyramid, this means that the pyramid is not touched. The structure has the virtue of being reversible, light, efficient with low impact on the foundation, resistant to earthquakes and wind. It requires little maintenance and creates the maximum protection with the minimum elements. It has a low visual impact and will practically not be appreciated unless we reach the sides of the pyramid.abounded.
José Luis Perea, technical secretary of INAH and honorary president of the jury, reported that the winner of the contest received a prize of 600 thousand pesos. Likewise, as finalists two more projects were chosen that were awarded a prize of 300 thousand pesos each.
Specialists consider that the level of involvement of the pyramidal structure is
gravedue to the accumulation of increasingly accelerated processes of sandblasting, disintegration, filtration, moisture stains, fractures, loss of color and architectural elements.
Since the end of 2015, the INAH formed an academic commission of the pyramid of the Feathered Serpent in order to thoroughly analyze the problem and design conservation solutions from a multidisciplinary perspective that included the specialties of archaeology, architecture, engineering, conservation and design. .
As of that year, the archaeologists Sergio Gómez, Eduardo Matos Moctezuma, Leonardo López and Saburo Sugiyama raised the problem with some restorers and the group that worked between 2017 and 2018 was formed, when a monitoring system was installed that allowed to report Periodic climatic changes, as well as structure exposures to humidity, sun, rain and wind.