C4 Surveillance & Rescue Centre / Mobile Workshop Architects

Courtesy of

Architects: Mobile Workshop Architects
Location: Huixquilucan,
Project Architects: Isaac Smeke, Jacobo Smeke
Contractor: Serigio and Enrique Nates
Client: Counter Intelligence Mexico
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Trae Maxwell, MWA & Jack Galante

Courtesy of Mobile Workshop Architects

“The idea behind the project was born from the principle that it was needed to create a maintenance free building and be very efficient with the time of construction and the little funds available provided.

The main issue was being able to design and build this place within a 3 months deadline. This directed us to opt for mainly a strategy of prefabricated elements.

lower floor plan
upper floor plan

From there we decided to fabricate most of the interiors in a factory as boxes or objects that were placed in this universal plan building in order to create a maze like effect and be able to comply with the deadlines, as well as, the utilization of materials that needed very little or no maintenance, keeping an efficient, operational and sophisticated look in a cost efficient manner.

The program is composed of a monitoring and investigation area that contains a video wall, an auditorium for training, a situation room where emergencies are handled, offices and state of the art technology that ranges from license plate readers to identify stolen cars to 1km zoom cameras. These were provided by Counter Intelligence Mexico a leading surveillance supplier.

Courtesy of Mobile Workshop Architects

The building had to reflect a sense of strength and technology to be consistent with the program and the new image the government wishes to portray, therefore we decided to expose the structure and use steel as the main material.

The interior of these objects/boxes in contrast to their outer skin was cladded in timber to achieve a softer and warmer sensation for the people working in this building.

Courtesy of Mobile Workshop Architects

The vertical circulation was not conceived as a generic staircase but rather as a series of lines that unfold and allow you to climb through them. They add an element of surrealism and tension to the space.”

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "C4 Surveillance & Rescue Centre / Mobile Workshop Architects" 03 Nov 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 29 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=85902>
  • rodney

    What a sexy little project.
    It’s a shame about the craftsmanship on the stairs.

  • as

    agreed, but not all of us live in the EU…
    nor have 50k to spend for stairs…
    why do mos of you forget that the architect is not a God and that the outcome of a building is not the whole responsability of the architect, there are so many people involved!