Grupo Anima Office by Belzberg Architects: 2017 Best of Year Winner for Midsize Corporate Office
More than just an architectural endeavor, working south of the border is “a chance for us to send a message about the vibrancy of the culture,” Interior Design Hall of Fame member Hagy Belzberg says. His ground-up projects for the Mexican real-estate developer Grupo Anima include five office buildings intentionally on the fringes of hip areas filled with art galleries, artisanal shops, and restaurants, helping to change the global perception of the city. All five are furthermore conceptually connected via diverse forms that nevertheless share a language of dynamic facades.
The first building to be ready encompasses six levels of office space, 44,000 square feet, sitting on three levels of parking, with reinforced structural concrete shear walls able to withstand the September earthquake. So far, not so unusual. The elements that change everything are the aluminum strips that swirl across and over the glass volume and occasionally appear to pass through it. (Conceiving and perfecting this stunning treatment required nearly three years of meticulous research back home in Los Angeles.) Where the strips reappear inside, they curve around corners to delineate function zones. Other than that, floor plates are virtually unobstructed, envisioned to appeal to the no-address, flexible workforce so prevalent in today’s luxury and creative businesses. To attract prospective tenants, Belzberg staged two levels, specifying furnishings and even adding built-ins. A high-end French liquor company ultimately signed the lease.
Project Team: Brock Desmit; Kristofer Leese; Cory Taylor; Ashley Coon; Jennifer Wu; Susan Nwankpa; Elizabeth Lee; Annie Mak.