HIDALGO – The elongated office building marks the entry point to the Platah industrial complex which, in its current state, is a location so isolated – surrounded by stretches of flat, open land – that a purpose-built road was laid before users could access the site at all. For architecture and design firm a|911, it is important that the stepped-roofed structure acts as one form.
The pedestrian entrances, bicycle lane and control booths are integrated directly underneath the building’s lower roof, keeping the structure as a singular volume. The project includes the offices, meeting rooms and showrooms for the Platah master plan (designed in partnership with Aecom), 80-km north of Mexico City.
The project embodies the honesty of the volume and its unapologetically bold presence. The horizontal structure makes a significant statement; its 90-m-long telescopic form is clad in black-finished, corrugated galvanized steel in order to ‘resonate with the landscape, which is characterized by dark, far away mountains.’ The architect explains further: ‘The colour creates a blunt volume, crafting a powerful presence without necessarily being extravagant, nor inconspicuous.’
The structure’s standardized metal construction is the result of the specific time constraints laid out by the client – a real-estate investment company Artha Capital. ‘This led to the decision of the systematic design strategy,’ the architect continues. ‘The design might have been different under alternative conditions but that isn’t a negative thing. Our job is to create interesting architectonic solutions based on the circumstances given.’