July 25, 2017

Belzberg Architects Animates Mexico City With 5 Facades

Dynamic facades provide the visual and conceptual identities of the five Mexico City office buildings that Belzberg Architects has designed for the real-estate developer Grupo Anima. Hagy Belzberg likes to call the recently completed first building Threads—after the aluminum strips that swirl over its glass curtain wall. Two more projects, now under construction, have earned the nicknames Profiles and Apertures.

These Energizing Building Facades Pave the Way Forward

A perforated carbon steel fronting a future Mexico City office building by Belzberg Architects. 
A computer rendering shows perforated carbon steel fronting a future Mexico City office building by Belzberg Architects. Photography by Roland Halbe.
A conference table atop engineered oak flooring and under a concrete ceiling.
Inside, there will be engineered oak flooring and a concrete ceiling. Courtesy of Belzberg Architects. Photography by Roland Halbe.

Occupying a dense mid-block setting, Profiles is the smallest, at six stories and 24,000 square feet. It has a facade of carbon steel perforated to create hanging chads that result in a shimmery, drapey effect. Wrapping from the street to the side, the building’s second story pulls back to make room for a terrace addressing the city building code’s stipulation that 20 percent of a lot must remain open-air. While Profiles is slated for completion late this year, Apertures should be ready for tenants in 2018. This building is the largest of the five, with three six-story wings totaling 55,000 square feet. Belzberg thinks of it as an investigation of masonry block, a material common throughout Mexico. His version, in concrete with a large angular cavity, is rotated and stacked in a steel frame to seemingly float free of the curtain wall, producing a lantern effect when light shines through.

A building exterior made of concrete screens at dusk
Another building’s rendering emphasizes exterior screens constructed from concrete block. Photography courtesy of Belzberg Architects.
Windows peek out from perforated concrete screens that form triangular shapes
At the base, their triangular configuration demarcates each entry. Courtesy of Belzberg Architects. Photography courtesy of Belzberg Architects.
A triangular configuration demarcates entry points in the building facade
At the base, their triangular configuration demarcates each entry. Photography courtesy of Belzberg Architects.

> See more from the June 2017 issue of Interior Design

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