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Our approach to Profiles investigates the design potential of a mid-block property in Mexico City. 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 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-story 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. Our 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 create the appearance of curved vertical lines mimicking a curtain being gathered to reveal beyond. Our appropriation of the southern façade of Profiles has demonstrated distinct design opportunities and furthers the new architectural language our team is developing for the Cuauhtémoc neighborhood of Mexico City

Status: On the Boards
Project Type: Low Rise Commercial Office
Building Type: New Construction
Size: 2,200 sqm
Location: Mexico City, Mexico

Partner-in-Charge: Hagy Belzberg
Project Team: Joseph Ramiro, Brock DeSmit, Kris Leese, Cory Taylor, Elizabeth Lee

Interior Design Magazine (USA)