Architects: Iñaki Echeverria
Location: Villahermosa, Tabasco, Mexico
Design Team : Iñaki Echeverria, Iván Parra, Josué Lee, Osvaldo Estrada, Jonathan Hajar, Javier Marroquín, Roberto Fuerte, Guillermo López, Jorge Durán, Daniela González, Leonel Alcántara, Fredy E. Lamadrid, Rafael Brioso, Israel Meneses, Fernanda Téllez, Xochitl Zúñiga, Víctor García
Project Year: 2012
Photographs: Jaime Navarro, Luis Gordoa, Ivan Parra
The aim was to design a dynamic and modern façade that would provide a new image for the largest luxury retailer in Mexico.
The project’s challenge was to find a simple and effective construction system that would accelerate the production, assembly, and installation of the façade and, at the same time, provide a complex and interesting proposal.
Given Tabasco’s tropical climate and its severe solar incidence and humidity levels, concrete was selected as the project’s design material; a material both resistant and with extraordinary aging qualities. With the development of innovative construction technologies, the project would seek a new image for Liverpool.
The solution emerged from a research and development process, where the concrete’s potential and ability to form complex geometries was explored. On the other hand, extensive trial and error processes were applied involving different pouring methods and formwork materials, such as, fiberglass, concrete and sand. The result was a façade that’s built by combining 5 different types of precast pieces shaped like a propeller. Each propeller rotates 180° on its axis; heights vary between 16 to 20 meters, depending on their position.
These simple and controlled variations create numerous results for each piece, which as a whole, give a sense of movement; this effect is better appreciated at a distance and when passing trough by car at high speed. From up close, the concrete looks like a fine wood; the acid layer applied as a final coating, brings out the concrete’s grain, which in return, gives the material this odd appearance. Additionally, the light changes that occur during the day, and the artificial lighting at night, provide an interesting mixture of colors, reflections and shadows, achieving an always changing and never static image for the façade.