Torre del Ángel
Mexico City, Mexico
Sometimes the architect’s job is to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. For international developer Hines, our design for a nineteen-story office building on Mexico City’s prestigious Paseo de la Reforma took a banal and clumsily detailed, precast-concrete clad building of the early 1980's, stripped it to its structure, and resculpted and reclad it. The existing building turned an aggressively serrated side elevation toward the City’s landmark monument to the Angel of Mexican Independence. The building has been reconceived as a series of layered, glass surfaces the outermost layer of which, a gently scalloped glass curtain, rises from the street to an 18th floor balcony, orienting the building toward the Angel Monument and announcing the building’s relocated main entrance below. At the street level this new entrance opens onto a widened sidewalk and is flanked by continuously glazed shopfronts. Above the street level, five floors of parking receive natural ventilation through openings in a fritted glass screen wall. An openwork metal cornice at the top of the building visually terminates the facade while concealing window washing equipment.