This Unique, Mexico Costco Location Blends In With The Landscape

When you picture Costco Wholesale stores, you likely envision large warehouses — with wide parking lots and big red Costco signs hanging on the outside that make them hard to ignore. Typically it's located among other general shopping stores, and there's likely a Target, Sam's Club, Walmart, and a few David Chang-approved restaurants not too far away. While convenient, there's nothing particularly breathtaking or inspiring about a Costco store. Instead, the general commercial and retail centers that Costcos operate within tend to draw people out and away from the architecturally interesting, well-designed infrastructure that supports everyday life. But, not Mexico City's Santa Fe location. In fact, it's a part of it.

Despite its 524,549 square feet of real estate, the Costco in Mexico City's Santa Fe district camouflages itself into the city — literally. Located in the growing financial district, the store is surrounded by high-rise buildings and sits adjacent to a large public park, Parque La Mexicana. However, rather than placing the gigantic Costco warehouse next to the green space and juxtaposing it, they hid it underneath. Maribel Barba, the project manager for the architecture firm that designed the store, told Fast Company that the intent was for the store to, in accordance with city permits, "be hidden and merge with the natural landscape." Little did they know it'd become an extension of it.

Hidden in plain sight

A green roof — which is home to 10 species of native plants that support wildlife — covers the Costco store itself, while a large soccer field, two basketball courts, and a paddle court cover the parking garage. Walking paths connect it to the 70-acre park next door — simultaneously creating a transitional skatepark space that seamlessly blends the two while covering the eyesore that would be the store's loading area underneath. You'd never notice the Costco unless you were deliberately there to shop or eat at the food court.

According to Barba's interview with Fast Company, the rooftop space on top of the Costco has been a big hit since opening in 2021. Looking at it now, sprawling with locals enjoying the open space and surrounding greenery — which has only continued to flourish, further camouflaging the commercial space — you'd never guess it was once a landfill. But, aside from its creative repurposing of land, the store also functions as a sustainable irrigation system, funded by the store's revenue.

While other Costco location designs have taken unique approaches, such as reusing older buildings and preserving natural features, the Costco in Mexico City is not only arguably the most beautiful in the world but the most sustainable. The cherry on top — or, in this case, the park on top — is that it can easily be replicated in other urban cities. That means not only could you see more inner-city Costco locations, but more green spaces along with them.