This proposal for a new mixed-use residential, cultural and commercial building in the central area of Mexico City approach’s the existing urban condition with skepticism and presents an alternative type of development relying on a sustainable approach to the city. The concept of the “sustainable” building is most specifically proposed by way of a balanced strategy between a higher densification of residential units and more variegated flexible public spaces of culture and commerce.

Recognizing the triangulated block as a unique pivot point in the city between the grided historic center, the major commercial route of Paseo de la Reforma, the urban plaza of the Monument de la Republica and the smaller scale residential development to the North, the architectural proposal treats the block as a building in and of itself, expanding the given site to incorporate adjacent unused and underdeveloped lots and results in an opportunity for a higher degree of programmatic localization and public porosity. By spreading service spaces, mechanical circulations and storage areas to the periphery of the lot the ground floor remains relatively open and adaptable for various public and small scale commercial enterprises. The raised volume above contains local cultural activity spaces for congregation and wellness as well as general offices, and serves as a plinth upon which the residential towers sit. These towers accommodate a variety of living types from smaller scale corridor driven units, to lofts, to full duplex units at the higher levels.

The implementation of multiple slenderly proportioned towers in fairly close proximately to one another creates a context for the building itself to occupy and induces for its residents, a new type of urban domestic experience propagating visual connections between neighbors as well to elements of the broader urban construct. Although the voyeuristic proximity of the towers cultivates an indirect relationship between occupants, one that might never be physically realized, it is through a resident’s occupation of the open public spaces of the raised roof plaza and ground floor where direct personal interactions are expected to be cultivated not only between residents but to the broader local community as well. In this way the idea of localized higher urban densification, balanced with more flexible public spaces maybe regarded as a positive step not only towards a sustainable approach to the city, but also towards a sustainable approach to the community of individual human relationships.

Project Type: Speculative
Location: Mexico City, MX
Date: 2008
Project Team: Ryan Ludwig