Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico
James Richärd and the designers of Richärd Kennedy Architects have teamed up with HGA Architects & Engineers, Carte Arquitectos, and OLIN to complete the Consulate General of the United States in Hermosillo, Mexico, complete with a comfortable microclimate and shared community functions as a welcoming eco-diplomacy gesture.
The new American Consulate for Hermosillo expresses American ideals of dignity, strength, and goodwill while meeting rigorous security and technical standards.
The integrated whole-building performance incorporates functionality, security, cultural sensitivity, sustainability, and accessibility throughout the project.
For its holistic and ecological design, the Consulate General of the United States – Hermosillo, Mexico has recently been awarded a 2022 American Architecture Award by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.
Inspiration was derived from traditional public buildings throughout Mexico, with simple massing and openings celebrated with an additive balcony and shade canopy, often showcasing local artistry in the form of decorative ironwork.
The reinterpretation of the balcony into a scalar shading element provides articulation of shade and shadow.
The openings and screens within the armature provide protection from the sun, screen adjacent residences, and block unwanted views from the building.
The armature reduces the visual mass of the building and plays a significant role in the sustainable response of the project by reducing peak solar gains and maximizing daylighting, improving the outdoor thermal experience with shade and tempered air and mist, and utilizing solar thermal heat for heating of domestic hot water.
It is also a key element in the collection of rainwater for reuse on the site.
As a welcoming eco-diplomacy gesture, the consular garden features seating for large groups within a microclimate created for visitor comfort.
Internally, a large open feature stair at the west end of the gallery space provides easy access to each floor and promotes interaction within the building.
The shared community functions of the program are grouped in the central zone of the building between the utility cores.
Using the shallower floorplate in this zone, coordinated interior and exterior glazing brings borrowed daylight and visual connection to the exterior into the experience of the central gallery space.
The consular spaces are created with a focus on connection to the exterior, providing a hospitable environment for the typically high-stress process of consular visits.
The project strikes the right balance of civic presence, respect for the cultural context, and environmental responses while meeting rigorous security needs.
Project: Consulate General of the United States – Hermosillo, Mexico
Architects: Richärd Kennedy Architects
Lead Architect: James Richärd
Associate Architects: HGA Architects & Engineers Local Architects: Carte Arquitectos
Landscape Architects: OLIN
General Contractor: BL Harbert International
Client: United States Department of State – Bureau of Overseas Building Operations