The new home for Latin America’s first design collection designed by Zeller & Moye in collaboration with FR-EE adds to Mexico City’s flourishing contemporary design scene and gives the collection a stronger presence in the city.
Located in the heart of Mexico City, the new cultural complex is made up of spaces for temporary exhibitions, a permanent collection of designer pieces, as well as a space for educational and community activities, social events and commercial use.
‘Archivo’ will attract both local visitors and first timers, bringing new life and regenerating energy in this undiscovered area in the center of the metropolis. The building is designed as a rough exoskeleton that opens to the surrounding jungle vegetation.
Like a tree, the open structure consists of vertical pillars and horizontal slabs that offer terraces at different levels with views of the park and the city. Its six levels, oriented according to the irregular layout of the city, can be explored through the generous spiral path that unfolds along the perimeter of the building and wanders through various functions at each level.
Each function is partially located inside, with a section situated under an unusual semi-open covered terrace, which can be used annually thanks to Mexico City’s moderate climate. The terraces are connected through long open stairs, creating a continuous open area that can be appropriated by its users for exhibitions, social events or meetings. These activities, clearly visible from the street and from the park, enliven the different floors of the building.
The purist structure is completed with glass facades away from the edge of the slabs to provide shade and privacy, while the more public functions occur along the activated perimeter. This results in a truly transparent and vibrant building that emanates into the town around it. ‘Archivo Design and Architecture’ is an exclusive and vast collection of design objects to be exhibited in open galleries bounded only by glass, in clear opposition to the traditionally walled exhibition space.
This open condition allows visitors to enjoy views of the exhibition from a distance when approaching the building or passing by via the nearby public route. As a final destination, The “Terrace of the City,” a publicly accessible exhibition on the history and future of the City of Mexico, located on the top level, enjoys a backdrop of panoramic views.
The broad spectrum of community life is an integral part of the project. This new multi-functional building provides space for workshops, dance classes, socialization, as well as outdoor areas for urban agriculture, and serves as a new destination for the local community. Scheduled to break ground in late 2014.
Article by Marco Rinaldi