To avoid demolition and the transportation of the remains, ART Arquitectos worked in the renovation of a functionalist building in the Cuauhtémoc district in Mexico City. The building used to be a language school with 2 and 3 levels. For the new corporate offices, additions were made to even the 3 levels needed for the company.
The building had originally an L shape patio that was modified, to suit the new requirements, resulting in two structures that generated two inside patios that give extra natural light and ventilation to the interiors of the building. One of these patios has a grand tree, which was already in the premises giving a luxurious shade; the other has a relaxing fountain that runs on a round stone wall that ends in a water mirror.
The L shape of the building gives two facades that were modulated and covered with aluminum panels in two colors: white and silver. These panels reflect the sun light avoiding the warming and heat absorption on both facades. The windows have prominent wine red color frames towards the exteriors and white in the interior receiving more natural light without gaining temperature. The main facade has an entrance frame that turns into a tunnel that leads straight into the reception and rounds up with an art work of artists Carlos Marín.
Different managing departments are located on the ground floor and first level. Also in the first level there is a conference room with a view to both patios. The General Direction is found on the third level, also an auditorium and a half roof terrace with an architectonical canvas that also shares the view of the two patios. The ambiance is sober, highlighting the corporate colors; art works has been included at the end of the corridors to change the orthogonal direction. These panels have graphic art and embossed text in the same materials and portrait the company’s philosophy.
Installations are state-of-the-art and ecology oriented technologies. The lighting is low consumption and high efficiency, with presence and temperature sensors. There are also rain collectors with filters for secondary use, water free urinals and natural ventilation systems by convection around the patios, to minimize the use of air conditioning, used exclusively for the closed areas.
Very few materials were used, porcelain and wood for floors, paint and some wood covers for the walls, sliding glass divisions with exposed mechanisms in stainless steel. The latest generation office furniture was selected with LEED certification and upholstery in red wine color leather. The lighting is warm achieved by compact fluorescence low consumption lamps, for the working areas, Master Color for the accent spots and halogen as filling.
Location: Mexico City, Mexico Architect: Art Arquitectos
Designers names: Antonio Rueda Ventosa
Project name: ALEF Corporate Offices
Project area: 900 sq m
Main materials: Wood, porcelain, glass, aluminum and stainless steel
Photography: Marisol Paredes / Huguette Ampudia