This former apartment building in Colonia Cuahtemoc, off the Paseo de la Reforma, is now occupied by offices, a common transformation in this part of Mexico City. It was built in the 1930s by a Swiss engineer as a classic International Style concrete frame structure adapted to the benign local climate. As a result of many incremental alterations carried out over the years, the building has become a run-down hodge-podge: the balconies, envisioned as hanging gardens, now face a bustling commercial street; the courtyard is littered with debris and construction supplies; the now-necessary security barriers are off-putting to occupants, visitors and passers-by alike.
The goal of the project is to transform and rejuvenate the building, making it both more functional and more appealing. Our fundamental approach is based on exploiting the advantages of the climate and of the existing building framework through blurring of the boundary between interior and exterior. At the same time, such present-day Mexico City realities as pollution, noise and security problems are recognized and addressed through solutions integral to the design.