Those who have seen Audrey Hepburn’s 1954 romantic-comedy Sabrina may have seen Pininfarina’s logo flash across the corner of the screen as suave and wealthy womanizer David Larrabee (played by 1950s Hollywood A-lister William Holden) slams on the breaks of his 1954 Nash Healey (Pininfarina designed the body of the car) when he notices Sabrina Fairchild (played by Audrey Hepburn) for the first time.
Well, Pininfarina designs much more than just shiny Hollywood cars—the international company’s award-winning architecture division will be designing a new highrise condominium complex in the lively Mexican metropolis of Mérida. The city is the capital of the Yucatán, a southeastern peninsula of Mexico, famously home to the Chichen Itza and other Mayan ruins. This will be the Italian design company’s first branded residential tower in Mexico; it is also working on a luxury condominium in Guatemala and designed the Air Traffic Control tower at the new Istanbul airport.
Located just north of the city center, the Light Towers is walking distance from shopping centers, cinemas, and restaurants. The complex primarily comprises two distinct towers, one 15 stories high, the other, 17. The towers are connected by a “permeable” five-story base which will provide pedestrian access through the building’s lobby from the street.
This latest residential project follows a new U.S. Consulate building designed by west-coast based architecture firm The Miller Hull Partnership, which broke ground in December 2020; the glass and limestone-clad government building, located nearby to Light Towers, is expected complete in 2023.
Each of the two towers boasts 122 modular condominiums, with two and three-bedroom units and four- and five-bedroom penthouses. Terraces wrap around the towers at each story. Each unit also comes with a fair amount of greenspace; huge swaths of tropical shrubbery line the terraces, spilling over the edge. Between 25 percent and 75 percent of square feet per unit is allocated for greenspace.
Inside, the colors and patterns draw from the “local environment” with “hues reminiscent of cultural traditions.” Construction materials, including concrete and plaster, will be sourced locally—bolstering the local economy and reducing the environmental ramifications caused by construction.
The second floor deck tucked between the two towers, offers a plethora of community-facilitating amenities, including a gathering and coworking space, and a swimming pool. Other amenities include over 3,000-square-feet dedicated to physical wellbeing; residents can relax at a spa, workout at the gym, and visit the children’s play area. A few floors above, residents can book party and cinema rooms for social gatherings. To provide space for residents to socialize, the architects also designed a shared kitchen, and two bars—one for cocktails and the other for fresh-made juices and teas.
In designing Light Towers, Pininfarina hopes the residential tower will “set a new standard for urban living and serve as a catalyst for real estate development in the region,” the company said in a press release announcing the project. Pininfarina will be partnering with Branson Developments, a Mexican company overseeing construction of real estate development projects in the south east region of the country. The project will break ground in July and construction will kick off in August.
“Arriving in Mérida at a pivotal moment in its growth, we look forward to leading the way with an example of how a multidisciplinary design approach can create a thoughtful balance between urban density and sprawl as the city continues to evolve,” Samuele Sordi, Chief Architect at Pininfarina said.