Mexico City, Mexico
Hagy Belzberg and his design team’s approach for this project called “Profiles,” investigates the design potential of a mid-block property in Mexico City.
The design won a 2019 International Architecture Award from The Chicago Athenaeum Museum
of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.
Given the variable height of adjacencies throughout the city, the vast majority of existing mid-block buildings only consider the street-facing façade; this leaves their side facades blank while awaiting coverage from a newer, taller neighbor.
These exposed surfaces constitute a significant portion of the urban realm.
In response, our design features a dynamic façade that increases the visibility of the building from a
variety of perspectives while creating a memorable experience for occupants and passersby.
The structure of this 24,000-sqft, six-story commercial office space pulls back from its three-storey neighbor, making visible the side of our long, narrow building and transforming the mid-block property into a south-facing corner lot.
This setback activates the side façade while creating an opportunity to address the ‘open space’
requirement in the local building code which is typically distributed at the front and/or rear of the property.
Belzberg’s strategy enables greater access to fresh air and daylight while preempting any issues with future developments next door.
To enhance the connection between the exposed facades, we wrapped them in perforated carbon steel with electrostatic paint.
The variable apertures in the skin are optimized for ventilation and light, and maintain privacy and visibility for occupants.
An additional pattern of flaps attached to select punctures creates the appearance of curved vertical lines mimicking a curtain being gathered to reveal beyond.
The appropriation of the southern façade of Profiles has demonstrated distinct design opportunities and furthers the new architectural language the team is developing for the Cuauhtémoc neighborhood of Mexico City.
Architects: Belzberg Architects
Design Team: Hagy Belzberg, Joseph Ramiro, Brock DeSmit, Kris Leese, Cory Taylor, and Elizabeth Lee