Central de Abastos Chapel

At over 304 hectares, Central de Abastos is the largest market in the world, providing produce to over 20 million of Mexico City’s residents, shops and restaurants, and handling approximately 30% of the produce bound for other parts of the country. More than 70 thousand workers sell, distribute, and deliver over 30 thousand tons of produce daily. The market area, however, lacks a range of amenities and a place of worship—one of the most important aspects of Mexico’s culture and community.

In response, FR-EE was commissioned to design a striking new landmark chapel and community building where weekly ceremonies could be held on a constricted and underutilized site in Central de Abastos, at the crossroads of two highly-trafficked central avenues and sandwiched between underutilized staging and storage areas.

We suggested an organic form inspired by the mountainous topography surrounding the Valley of Mexico, rising skyward from the landscape with a verdant, green carpet covering the building. This single, funnel-shaped structure with a curvilinear central nave defines the space while acting as an acoustic damper. The perforated façade allows dappled natural light to filter into the space.






1,340 m2 / 14,424 ft2


Mexico City, Mexico



The thousands of Central de Abastos market workers needed a place for contemplation and the organic form was inspired by the mountain topography. The upper opening allows natural light to flow into the chapel.



Fernando Romero, Joana Gomes, Prabhu Sugumar, Juan Olmos, Joshua Petrie, Jared Digancy, Stine Hansen, Georges Batzios, Pedro Lechuga.


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