March 22, 2016

New Builds in Mexico City: BBVA Bancomer, CENTRO University, the New International Airport

Mexico City has long been a land of contrasts—just observe its ancient palaces and pyramids joined by skyscrapers in glass and steel. But in recent years, its skyline has changed dramatically to include modern structures that rival those found in other North American metropolises. The financial center, it seems, is getting back in touch with its creative side.

The BBVA Bancomer building in particular has done its part in transforming the city’s skyline. Opened earlier this year just adjacent to the heart of the city, Chapultepec Park, the project is a collaboration between Mexico City-based architecture firm Legoretta + Legoretta and London-based firm Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (LegoRogers). The 50-story, LEED Gold tower’s exterior features a lattice-work façade system that’s both attractive and functional, and serves as protection against the city’s many days of sunlight.

Meanwhile, located on the opposite end of Chapultepec Park, the CENTRO University campus is a multi-building LEED Platinum-certified project designed by Mexico City-based architecture firm TEN Arquitectos. The new campus, which opened last fall, covers 1.2 acres and includes classrooms, studios, offices, an art gallery, an auditorium, and communal areas that include a courtyard and multiple exterior staircases.

Another project completed last year is the loft-like María Ribera Residential Complex by Mexico City architecture firm JSa. The 253-unit complex, which is located about 20 minutes northeast of the park in an historic neighborhood, includes the transformation of a 19th-century chocolate factory and features multiple public spaces that include plazas, rooftop gardens, and a fitness room, all meant to instill a sense of community. Similarly encouraging social activity, Síclo (Interior Design‘s 2015 Best of Year winner in the Fitness category) is an indoor cycling facility designed by Rojkind Arquitectos. Located 30 minutes outside the city, the space features a sprawling, white concrete staircase punctuated by bright cushions that can be used for clinics, workshops, movie screenings, and other group activities.

Finally, one of Mexico City’s most anticipated projects is the upcoming Mexico City New International Airport (NAICM). The project, which is a collaboration between London-based firm Foster + Partners and Mexico City-based firm Fernando Romero Enterprise (FR-EE), is expected to be the largest airport in North America and will feature a single, six-million-square-foot, X-shaped terminal. Both firms are keeping sustainability in mind and are expected to incorporate solar power and rainwater harvesting into the design plans. The airport is expected to open in 2020 and will replace the city’s current international airport. The firms have released a video of the project that includes renderings and interviews with the architects.

Recent DesignWire