In late January, Richard Meier & Partners unveiled plans for a 40-story mixed-use tower and a 27-story hotel along Paseo de la Reforma, Mexico City’s monumental main commercial boulevard. While the project looks straightforward at first glance, its carved out shape will open it to the elements and break new ground in tall building design.
“Everything happens on the inside,” said Bernhard Karpf, Associate Partner at Richard Meier and Partners. The exposed, sloped atrium extends about 25 floors through the building. Its large opening becomes thinner as it enters the core. The developer, Diametro, is staffed partially by architects, and was receptive to this unusual technique. The outdoor spaces also fit well into Mexico’s rich tradition of outdoor courtyard space.
The exterior of the buildings will be composed of glass curtain walls (of varying opacity), covered in strategic locations by steel louvers for shade. Another large open space will be located on the podium connecting the top of the hotel’s parking structure with the larger tower.
“We didn’t want to do another cookie cutter with a pretty facade,” said Karpf. The firm is working on a few other projects in Mexico, but this is the first under construction. Completion is expected within the next three years.