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Pachacamac Park

Type. Landscape Urbanism

Location. Lima, Paru
Date. 2019
Client. Competition

Status. Concept Design

Size. 1.5 h

Project Description.


According to the brief of the competition the main issues of the North Sector is the invasion of informal housing into the site as well as littering, trespassing and damaging the existing walls and burial grounds. There is also a general lack of education and sensitvity towards the heritage site.

The first step we have taken is to define an edge condition consisting of a proper two-lane road which would border the site and provide connectivity between the neighbourhoods. The road would be equipped with a pedestrian sidewalk and flanked with a 1.5m high hill with a row of cacti on the park side creating a natural, visually friendly barrier which would prevent further construction as well as trespassing but would not block completely the views towards the park.

The hill would be interrupted in strategic locations by public entry plazas surrounded by decorative gates opened during the park opening hours. Gatehouses will be placed next to each of the gates. The plazas themselves will be located on the external side of the park and would not only give an introduction into the parks features but also would always be open and available as a public space for the local community.

The Grid.

We have started the design by establishing a main grid of 200x200m which would originate at the main gate of the Third Wall at the heart of the site and its direction would be aligned with the main road Norte-Sur at the South Monumental Sector. The grid has been the base of the inner border of the site placing strategic nodes along its edge on the North side of the site. The mega-grid module has then been subdivided into four interior land strips, of decreasing width following the golden rule proportion method.

The theme of the largest land plot “Strip A” is Forrest. These areas will be reforested with local trees based on the Miyawaki Method and will be the lungs of the site. Next land plot down, “Strip B” will be used for organic Farming. This will bring work and activities for the local community and supply goods for the Ecological Market with fresh vegetables and fruits as well as forming part of educational programmes for the young population. These same strips will be used in chosen strategic locations as Sports Grounds filled with outdoor activities and playgrounds. The theme of the following land plot, “Strip C” will be Lawn. The open, green spaces will function as picnic and leisure areas for the local population. Due to the harsh, dry climate we propose to use a native, low maintenance and drought-resistant Bahia Grass (Paspalum notatum) that prefers sandy soils and tolerates saline conditions. Finally, the narrowest land plot “Strip D” is inspired by the Desert vegetation. The gravel surfaced plot will be filled with local cacti species.

The strips are oriented towards the true North for the best orientation of the fields, allowing for the farming rows to be planted in the east-west line preventing weeds from growing in between the crop. The created fields are inspired by the neighbouring agricultural land surrounding the Lurín River. The modules can be joined or divided as per need.


The full site will be tied together by a circuit around the full perimeter of the park, 5.5 km long. The loop will consist of several lanes dedicated to cyclists, runners, pedestrians strolling on the generous boardwalk as well as an electric bus lane bringing people to the desired destinations. A stream of water will also run in the middle of the circuit distributing water around the park.


The proposal respects the current, existing roads: the old South Pan-American Highway and the Lima Avenue but additionally introduces a border Ring Road following the edge of the site. The new road is thought to help in connecting the neighbourhoods, helping the visitor to come closer to the specific areas of the park as well as releasing the traffic of the existing transportation systems. Five parking lots have been distributed around the edge of the park with the biggest one located at the main entrance next to the Visitor Centre building. This parking will also support visitors of the newly built MUNA and the Site Museum. Three smaller parking spots have been located on the North side of the park and will be used by the local community in order to access the Ecological Market, the farms and the available sports and leisure facilities. The last bigger parking will be located on the East corner next to the new, planned Sports Centre.


We also envisage the park to have a future connection to the L1 tube system. In the mean time a shuttle bus should be provided to connect the last stop of the tube at Villa el Salvador, with the North side of the park as well as the Museum zone.

All the movement within the park itself should be restricted to the electric bus line which would ease travelling extensive distances. The electrical bus route is a one lane road moving along the circuit and stopping at several strategic locations like the market, sports centre and the park entrances. In the museum area the bus would leave the loop and stop close to the entrance parking and then will follow to the MUNA drop-off after which via the Pan-American Highway it will go to the Site Museum and then re-join the loop. The rest of the circulation will be focused on pedestrians and cyclists.

Additionally, to the Linear Park we are proposing adding light paths made from gravel and compacted sand crossing the site, creating shortcuts as well as allowing to visit the existing ruins of the Third Wall and the burial grounds. The subtle paths are inspired by the Nazca Lines will prevent trespassing the sensible areas. Their final location will only be fixed after a thorough archeological survey of the site.


Lima is in a coastal, desert region of Peru. The lack of rain is a big challenge in providing enough water to sustain the park. The main source of water will be from the ground, sourced at the highest north spot of the site. From here it will be distributed via the central stream to all parts of the site and then to specific plots by drop by drop water irrigation system. Taking advantage of the natural topography of the park a stepping dike system will be introduced to the circulating stream in order to slow down the water flow. This will provide a passive water treatment for any pollutants in the ground water caused by the densely inhabited area and inadequate sanitization. The stream will be divided into sectors, each of which will be turned into small wetlands purifying the water. The wetlands would be filled with different vegetation each with different cleaning properties. This water would be then used for irrigation of the plots and once returned to the soil it will re-join the ground water in order to complete the cycle.

Any excess water flowing down the stream unused we envisage it to be channelled down South where it will help with the effort of bringing back the water levels of the Urpiwachaq lagoon and re-establishing the wetlands.

In order to complete the sustainability story of the park we have planned to take full advantage of the high, over 80%, humidity levels in the areas well as thick fogs occurring in the summer season. Even though the park is located below the typical altitude for fog catching, we find it interesting to inform the local community of the latest research and technologies. We planned to equip the plant nurseries, spread on the inner border of the park, with a dew harvesting and a fog catching system. Whatever would get harvested would then be stored in a pool surrounding the greenhouse, creating a serene environment. The nodes will be the site’s symbolic source of life. In the non-foggy months, the nurseries will have a backup connection to the central stream system via two shallow channels on both sides of the path.

For any facilities within the park that produce grey or black water like public toilets, those would be equipped with its own self-sufficient water treatment system called USBF (Upflow Sludge Blanket System), which produces a treated outflow which could later be use in irrigation or reused toilets. The treated effluent will not cause any harm to the natural environment, specifically to surface waters or groundwaters.



For the Pachacamac Park we have developed a series of canopies and pavilions consisting of modules which can be joined into a bigger roofing system or be used as a single canopy for shading bus stops, bicycle stations and viewing points. The most interesting typology are the canopies of the plant nurseries with will contain three shading systems based on the studies of the Miyawaki Reforestation Method.

A family of wooden benches have been developed and adjusted to the specific locations; at the entry plazas, along the boardwalk and within the forested areas. Decorative bronze elements like gates with a circular theme have been designed for the entry areas. A similar material will be used for the small landscaping architecture like the rubbish bins, low landscaping lighting and other edge details steps, handrails of staircases.


All efforts should be made to source the materials locally. The intent is for them to be low impact to the site and contribute in the water preservation of water, i.e. pervious pavement. The main boardwalk will be paved by a sandy tone paving stone. Inner paths will be made from a wooden decking. The “Nazca paths” crossing the site will be made of compacted sand and gravel in order to blend within the environment as much as possible. Smaller, edge details for stairs, gates, landscaping architecture will feature rusted metal elements. Gravel and small stones will be present throughout the site surrounding the cacti areas. Areas of the original sand will be visible in between the plots and modules in order to bring the context into the borders of the park and not to be detached from the surroundings of the Sanctuary.

Project Team: 
Rolando Rodriguez-Leal, Natalia Wrzask, Paola Barrenechea, Jose Luis Mulás

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