Architects: Architects Collective & at103
Location: Mexico City, Mexico
Client: Yoshua Okon
Collaborators: Kurt Sattler, Julio Amezcua, Francisco Pardo
Structural Consultant: Colinas de Buen
Contractor: Factor Eficiencia
Site Area: 150 sqm
Construction Area: 120 sqm
Project Year: 2004
Construction Year: 2007-2008
Budget: US $250.000
Photographs: Architects Collective
In the heart of Mexico City lies the Condesa district created around what was once a racetrack and today a unique and vibrant neighborhood of the city. At the end one of the Condesa’s tree-lined streets is the project, a penthouse with two terraces and a lookout on top of an existing 3-story building. The new structure appears like a nomadic structure floating above the diverse urban topography of Mexico City. The owners inhabit the penthouse six month of the year and the rest of the time it is used by friends, visitors and artists that stay in the city. The structure was designed to reflect the movements of its transient inhabitants in an origami-like morphology. The folding dynamic form creates a seemingly temporary habitat with continuous inside and outside spaces on two levels and generous views of the city. The building’s skeleton is made of steel and is completely enveloped in pearl-grey acrylic-polymer Corian panels, the first time this material was used as an entire building envelope.
Overhangs and the thoughtful orientation of interior spaces and openings moderate the climate of the penthouse, which can also be adjusted by providing cross ventilation through operable windows in the glass façade and at the highest point of the roof construction. The floors covering the entire penthouse- from the moment you enter, to the moment you step into the bathtub- are of Santo Tomas marble, a local stone usually employed as flooring in the city’s subway stations, churches and other public spaces. Thus the echoes of the outside are folded in quietly into a private space, further re-enforcing the notion of a transient, temporal habitat.