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Friday, March 27, 2009

Efizia Tower, Mexico City, Mexico

copyright: SPACE Architects

WAN talks to SPACE Architects about their new eco-tower design

SPACE architects is aiming to produce one of the greenest buildings in Latin America with a new 33-storey tower set for Mexico City. The Efizia tower project is a mixed use building for developer Diimx in the Santa Fe district of the city, which in recent years has been transformed from one of the city’s most rundown areas into a business and leisure destination. Juan Carlos Baumgartner, managing director of SPACE’s Mexico City office told World Architecture News at MIPIM that the scheme will be the first in Mexico to use a double skin, with a stainless steel mesh aiding energy use by trapping heat and offering shade. “We view the external architecture as a shell for protecting the internal space from what is happening outside, hence ensuring that a building is fit for purpose and designed for occupation”, he said. “We design from the inside, out and the shell is the result of everything else”.

SPACE, which now specialises in green design but hitherto has perhaps been better known for its interiors projects for clients including Michelin than its buildings, was selected in an international competition by developer Diimx, which wanted “the best building in Latin America”. The speculative scheme comprises 33 floors with floor plates of 2000m2 totalling 66,000m2, with retail and restaurants on its ground floor. But it is the building’s projected environmental performance which the scheme’s backers hope will set it apart. The dual façade is a double glazed glass façade with a distinctive, irregularly shaped stainless steel mesh that places less stress on the air conditioning and should reduce energy consumption by some 37%. And whilst the steel has been brought in from Germany, the project’s sustainable credentials – which include grey water recycling, 30% recycled materials and green roofs – have already gained a ‘gold’ standard at pre-certification in the LEED process.

Construction of the Efezia Tower is on course to begin later this year and complete in 2012.
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