MEXICO CITY – Atelier ARS is the architecture firm of Alejandro Guerrero Gutierrez and Andrea Soto Morfin, based in Guadalajara in central Mexico. It is in this city that the team has recently completed an extension to the Design Innovation and Workshop Building (TID) at the ITESO University.
The TID Annex accommodates a workshop for architecture and design students whilst providing contemporary spaces and a well-ventilated environment. The façades consists of wooden louvers in order to generate a natural flow of air through the gaps, while the use of a steel structure with a wooden floor communicates the character of the workshop well. On the ground floor, the facades can open, giving the students a practical, airy and breathable space to work in.
‘We really like to think that the essential material in the conception of this building is the air,’ say the architects. The upper level is only accessible through a large, steel doorway and a steel footbridge via the adjacent building. Furthermore, Atelier ARS has designed the top of the building to work as a chimney draft in order to get a highly-efficient natural ventilation system.
When viewing the annex, it conveys the idea of a barn. The architects explain that the project is inspired by primitive granaries called Hórreos which are traditionally used to keep grains fresh and ventilated. Typical of the northwest Iberian Peninsula, Atelier ARS noticed them while travelling from northern Spain to Portugal – they were built with slits in the walls offering continuous airflow, which helped to prevent the contents of the barn from deteriorating over time.