The Architecture League of New York has picked the winners of its annual Emerging Voices Awards. Each the year the League chooses eight practitioners from the United States, Canada, and Mexico through an invited, juried portfolio competition. This year’s winners include three firms from Mexico. The rest are based on the East Coast of the U.S. The winners will be giving
Currently under construction is the first affordable housing facility in Mexico City that is integrated with a transportation hub. The Cuatro Caminos Multimodal Transfer Station in the northern part of the city is designed to incentivize residents to use public transportation systems and to enable those who need it most to cheaply access vital infrastructure. The ground floor of the 18-story multi-purpose building is devoted to retail, while the remaining levels are earmarked as office space, with a total built area of over 344,000 square feet. The facade of the multi-use hub is clad in patterned die-cut aluminum sheets, with various prefabricated components and clean, simple lines throughout. Going forward, the firm has its sights set on improving affordable housing access. “We’re trying to bring people to these kinds of places and create a ‘microvarios’—like a micro community,” said Cespedes.
Luxurious, aesthetically enticing projects also have their place. The Finestre Villas, a recent project, is a sight to behold, featuring eight beachfront units staggered along a terraced cliff on the Mexican Pacific coast in Guerrero. Working with the jagged topography and ensuring privacy were the two main hurdles, said Cespedes, as the villas could not directly face each other. “We didn’t want this stadium feeling of a lot of swimming pools looking at each other so these terraces and gardens switch sides as you go up.” Another project, the rustic El Mirador House, also exploits the unwieldy terrain. The steel-and-wood vacation home is half-buried on one side to shield it from harsh valley winds. Meanwhile, the main entrance has a large reflecting pool ending in a horse trough. Hedged by forestland, the design as a whole attempts to “exteriorize the interior.”