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PROFILES | Mexico City, Mexico | 2018

PROFILES | Mexico City, Mexico | 2018

Architects: Belzberg Architects 
Architects of Record: Grupo Anima
Client: Grupo Anima
General Contractor: Grupo Anima
Structural Consultants: Arup
Photographers: LGM Studio

We believe the design potential of mid-block buildings far exceeds that which is often afforded them.

In the dense urban context of Mexico City, we noticed the sides of buildings that abut one another are left blank with the expectation that they will be blocked or covered by taller, more dense development next door in the near future. Unfortunately, this may not happen for some time or ever, and as such, these blank surfaces are ubiquitous across the city.

To demonstrate the depth of opportunity in these façades, we turned our new mid-block project, Profiles, into a de facto corner site, pulling one side away from its neighbor to create a continuous, two-sided façade.

This move optimizes the user experience while maximizing the street-level profile of the project.

Profiles is an eight-story office building located on a one-way street.

Pulling back from its three-story neighbor to the south ensures the oncoming vehicular traffic will always see a significant portion of the building’s façades.

This increased overall visibility of the building also gives occupants greater access to daylight and natural ventilation while creating an accessible patio on the second floor.

This open-air area addresses a 20% “open space” local building code requirement and together with the rooftop patio, provide users with ample outdoor amenity space.

The two street-facing façades are united by a perforated carbon-steel with electrostatic paint that follows the curvature of the building mass.

The overall pattern of the perforation emanates from a 2D projection from the point on the street where the two sides are most visible.

Using a repeated pattern of increasing openings, vertical striations emerge, mimicking tuffs of a curtain.

Some of the perforated material is left attached to the panels; these chads change in size to add further depth to the façade by softening the appearance of the steel, and at times, dematerializing the panels themselves.

The variable angles of the tabs also create a dynamic effect as lighting conditions change; sometimes creating shadows while at other times, they seem to disappear completely.

Overall, the perforation was optimized for ventilation and light, and maintains privacy and visibility for occupants.

Our approach demonstrates new opportunities in mid-block design that engage the street while shaping the user experience.




American Architecture
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