Location: Azcapotzalco, Mexico City.
Area: 376.00 sqm
Architect in Charge: David Pedroza Castañeda.
Collaborators: Adriana Guisa, Ismael Rubio, Ricardo Rubio.
Photography: FCH Fotografía. Website: http://fchphoto.com/
After years of using an improvised adaptation of an old mechanical workshop, the company MCI decided to have a more formal setting in Mexico City. Demolishing the old workshop to build a new warehouse and offices found economical uncertainty and permit difficulties that pointed to remodeling as the best possible option. The limited challenges that the project appeared to have, accentuated the importance of context for the project. The main clues for the project’s image were found in its surroundings. MCI is located in a traditional Mexico City neighborhood where color decorates the sober buildings and the complex world of tenement courtyards coexists with warehouses, body-shops and local stores. The Project is conceived as a “vecindad”. The main volumes are simplified to transform the patio into the main element of its identity. The source of communication with the outside world. Color is used to blend in with the surrounding buildings and give continuity to the neighborhood. The colors of the “Mundo Terra” building, with a big impact on the community, define MCI’s image. The red brick base of the neighboring building is copied to make MCI seem like the plinth of a much larger complex. The blue color is used to paint MCI’s sober plaster facade and create a connection between the tall dominant building and the small houses in the area. There were some significant interior renovations that were dded to the image change. The warehouse capacity was augmented by building new walls that made the floor plan 50 cm wider, added two meters to the general height of the building and provided the much needed natural light and cross ventilation trough a series of skylights and roof openings. The office spaces were also renovated. They maintained the floor plan intact but augmented the height considerably; and eliminated unnecessary partitions and ceiling covers. The image defining surprise inside the office spaces was the building’s brick; found when an old wall covering was removed. In those wall areas where we find little building installations the original brick is left exposed, respecting even the cavities where the previous beams could be found. The masonry contrasts with the plastered gray walls and the polished concrete floors. The warehouse’s and offices’ logistics are solved trough 3 galvanized steel subtractions that face the courtyard and turn it into the heart of the project. The first cavity serves as facade for the offices, the third as the loading and unloading opening and the middle opening, more complex, changes its form and position to solve various needs in the warehouse: The transparent portion of the gate opens individually for ventilation, groups with a seamless door for entering and exiting the warehouse while the whole gate can slide to allow vehicle and merchandise traffic. The challenge in this project, minimized at first, consisted on finding out that the raw material for the proposal comes from what exists already onsite. The context gives the exterior its color and image while the found walls gives the interior its warmth and character.