Mexico City: A Fine Balance

Tue, 11/01/2016 - 13:35

The emblematic Paseo de la Reforma bisects the city, separating the cultural and artistic neighborhoods of Condesa, Roma and Juarez from the authoritative business districts of Anzures, Cuauhtemoc and Polanco. At number 483, Torre Reforma, stretching 244m and 57 stories into the air, is the tallest office building in Latin America, the tallest skyscraper in Mexico and the perfect example of the dichotomy between art and commerce. Construction began in 2008 and took three years to complete. Development was undertaken by LBR&A Arquitectos and the structural oversight was carried out by consultancy Arup. Total investment was US$100 million and the project was financed through a private fund managed by Protego. The auditorium, a 100-person capacity prism suspended in the middle of the building, is made of wood, providing the perfect warm contrast with the coolness of the concrete and steel. The interior design consisting of granite and neutral colors characterizes the tower’s welcoming yet professional environment.

Exposed glass and concrete on the building’s west side allow unparalleled views of Chapultepec Castle, once occupied by President Porfirio Diaz. The roof, slanted at an acute angle dedicates 800m2 to solar panels and 250m2 to water heating systems, which is among the reasons it possesses the coveted LEED platinum certification and serves as a Latin American reference for sustainability. A wind generation system is also located at the summit of the building and the entire structure was designed to reduce energy consumption, optimize water usage and minimize discharge.

Torre Reforma’s facilities will allow a 55 percent water saving compared to conventional buildings due to systems that treat and recycle wastewater and use rainwater for irrigation purposes. Besides the glass façade that makes use of natural light, sensors are installed to detect the optimum levels of illumination necessary over the course of the day. The tower is controlled by an integrated building management system that controls all the light, electrical and sensory equipment to provide an optimal user experience for tenants. The tower combines equal amounts of office space and retail space with each occupying 35,000m2. Restaurants, entertainment areas, a gym and a floor dedicated to a shopping mall follows the trend favoring mixed-use space for today’s busy executives. Torre Reforma blends Mexico City’s business and cultural characteristics, acting as a bridge to both sides of the street.