Compiled by Team IAnD Photography: Courtesy ZHA Integrating a community-oriented approach in their design, Zaha Hadid Architects are all set to build 981 apartments at Esfera City Centre in fast-growing Monterrey in Mexico... Zaha Hadid Architects have turned around a ‘12 homogenous residential towers’ client brief into a community-orientated design comprised of a low-rise, yet high-density residential building of 981 apartments with accommodation around three sides of the rectangular site, where each side is shaped to optimize its environmental orientation, creating a sequence of interconnected internal and external courtyards, gardens and public spaces for both residents and neighbours. |
By gradually fragmenting the overall volume of the design, its relationship with its context is customised to become solid in some areas and permeable in others. This transition from solid to porous reflects the extreme contrasts, which characterise the surrounding urban fabric: from the noisy commercial side with its eight-lane motorway; to the quiet, low-density suburban developments that spread to the base of the mountains in the distance. Adapting to these varied adjacencies gives the project many different degrees of integrated public and private open spaces.
The building’s envelope references the local architectural language and Mexican tradition of interlocking lattice geometries to provide shading and describe the outdoor space of each residence. These lattice geometries have been used widely throughout pre-Columbian, colonial and contemporary Mexican architecture to give protection from the sun and generate varied and dynamic displays of light and shadow.
By considering their solar orientation, internal programme, spatial requirements and adjacencies, each balcony’s form is developed to provide solar protection, privacy and generous exterior space for the apartments; defining a varied and coherent architectural language that unites the project.
Targeting high standards in sustainability, the building’s mass allocation and layout responds to the ideal solar orientation for the apartments and aims to channel the site’s wind patterns, allowing residents to enjoy the outdoor spaces and natural ventilation offered by the fresher micro-climate of the Huajuco Canyon. With façade orientation, ground level shading and optimization of natural ventilation, the ambient temperature is reduced to give better human comfort values.
The materials of all external areas are selected with consideration of their permeability, high reflectivity and low thermal mass to reduce the mean radiant temperature, together with their ability to drain rain water into the soil.
The form of each balcony is determined by factors that include the ability to control that solar radiation particular to that part of the building, acting as a brise soleil that varies - extending laterally or horizontally as necessary - according to the orientation of each apartment.
The project is well rounded off with public areas and 30,000 sq. m. park that offers amenities for all age groups. The project is staged in 3 phases; with phase 1 scheduled for completion in 2018. Click here to view images of the stage setting on indiaartndesign.com
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