A successful department store had moved forward with plans to expand and occupy what was once a very important open urban space at the busy intersection of Insurgentes and Felix Cuevas avenues in the southern quadrant of Mexico City. With the opening of a new subway line station at the corner of the site, and its subsequent increase in pedestrian traffic and transport transfer activity, it became apparent that the typical closed retail “big box” model had to be questioned and a new identity given to the existing store’s façade to achieve a more dynamic urban presence and promote the brand.
We proposed to give the box a permeable an animated envelope where inside activity can be showcased and interact with urban activity. A “deep wall” system where new programmatic options can be explored blurring the line between inside and outside and giving the user and passer by a more interactive experience. A variety of temporary programs and/or experiences can be housed within the porous habitable façade that becomes a mediator between the busy surrounding urban condition and the department store’s traditionally programmed interiors.
Inspired by Moiré patterns and optical art the 2.8m deep wall façade consists of a three-layer multi-sized hexagon system in fiberglass, steel, aluminum and glass. The resulting spaces are accessible from the interior through large openings that reveal the inside of the store to the passer by and vice versa and are connected between them through stairs and ramps allowing the dweller to navigate within the façade. To maintain attainability this project took full advantage of Mexico’s skilled craftsmen and rich tradition in metal work to overcome the unique challenges in fabrication and budget constraints. The result of this “digital design / local fabrication” model is unique in its hightech but crafted qualities.Location: Mexico City, Mexico Architects: Rojkind Arquitectos
Founding Partner: Michel Rojkind
Partner: Gerardo Salinas
Team: Rodrigo Medina, Arie de Jongh, Victor Martínez, Juan Carlos Sainz, Adrian Aguila, Alfredo Hernandez, Andrea Leon, Beatriz Zavala
AGENT: Alberto Villarreal
Creative Director: Felipe Castañeda, Isaac Smeke
Media: Monique Rojkind, Rosalba Rojas
Construction area: 825 m2
Façade area: 2,400 m2
Design date: 2010
Awards: 2014, PA Citation Award