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Torre BBVA Bancomer

A new urban landmark on the skyline of Mexico City, the tower marks the gateway to the Paseo de la Reforma from Chapultepec Park. The 50-storey office tower is the first completed building by LegoRogers, a collaboration between international architectural practice Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and Mexican firm Legorreta + Legorreta. In bringing together their different architectural languages yet common values, they have created a building that is both contextual and distinctive.

Torre-BBVA-Bancomer-By-Rogers-Stirk-Harbour_Partners-02-Dolores-Robles-Martinez-Gomez-761x1200 Torre BBVA Bancomer / Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

© Dolores Robles Martinez Gomez

Located on the Paseo de la Reforma, the tower marks a gateway to Chapultepec Park with sky gardens overlooking the city and the park. The architecture aims to promote a sense of community and interaction between staff. On the ground floor, the triple-height lobby sits on the corner of Paseo de la Reforma, which links the daily operations of the bank branch with executive-level commercial businesses at higher levels. In the lobby, glass elevators face the park and will transport visitors arriving by foot, as well as the employees up to the sky lobby at level 12. The sky lobby is a window to the city and the park. This area will be used for exhibitions and public events and connects the hall and dining room with terraces overlooking Chapultepec Park. At this level security manages visitor access to the building.

Torre-BBVA-Bancomer-By-Rogers-Stirk-Harbour_Partners-05-Dolores-Robles-Martinez-Gomez-858x1200 Torre BBVA Bancomer / Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

© Dolores Robles Martinez Gomez

Inspired by traditional Mexican architecture, the design – by an association between UK-based Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and Mexican firm Legorreta + Legorreta – reinterprets the conventional office layout to create a healthy and open work environment for the 4,500 employees it will accommodate. All areas will have natural light, views, and access to the six garden terraces integrated at various levels.

Torre-BBVA-Bancomer-By-Rogers-Stirk-Harbour_Partners-06-Lourdes-Legorreta-759x529 Torre BBVA Bancomer / Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

© Lourdes Legorreta

The façade design is inspired by the Mexican traditions and architectural heritage. The geometry of the diagonal structure is used to create a lattice frame to protect the façade from direct light and heat from the sun. As a result, the building has been awarded a Gold LEED energy standard. The tower provides 78,800m² of prime office space for BBVA Bancomer and can accommodate 4,500 members of staff.

Torre-BBVA-Bancomer-By-Rogers-Stirk-Harbour_Partners-09-Dolores-Robles-Martinez-Gomez-759x427 Torre BBVA Bancomer / Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

© Dolores Robles Martinez Gomez

The qualities of the building are:

  • The building responds to its immediate context and the city;
  • Sky gardens provide a focal point for grouping working communities within the BBVA Bancomer culture;
  • An architectural legibility of building elements gives the tower a human scale;
  • It provides flexibility in re-planning the building for future change.
  • It responds both socially and environmentally by minimizing resource consumption, waste and greenhouse gas emissions, while the use of passive solar protection systems are maximized to reduce energy consumption.
Torre-BBVA-Bancomer-By-Rogers-Stirk-Harbour_Partners-10-Roland-Halbe-759x566 Torre BBVA Bancomer / Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

© Roland Halbe

“Mexico City’s new headquarters for BBVA Bancomer is a celebration of the 21st Century workplace as a multilayered, collaborative community. The building’s distinctive sky gardens, the heart of its community, speak to the city around it and far beyond. The building expresses its functions to the outside world; its fluid and flexible interior space, its external core, its structure and its environmental controls together form a legible, holistic, architecture that is globally distinctive and a unique response to its place.” – Ivan Harbour / Partner, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

Torre-BBVA-Bancomer-By-Rogers-Stirk-Harbour_Partners-11-Roland-Halbe-759x569 Torre BBVA Bancomer / Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

© Roland Halbe

“We were thrilled by the opportunity to work for BBVA Bancomer on such a unique project for Mexico City and to collaborate with Legorreta + Legorreta, one of the world’s leading architectural practices. The form of this building is based on a rethinking of conventional approaches to office space. The design creates a new hierarchy of vertical communities or ‘villages’ with open areas where staff and visitors can meet and enjoy spectacular views across the city. It serves as a landmark building that provides a clear link between Chapultepec Park and the Paseo de la Reforma. The highly sustainable design incorporates a façade which draws on the heritage of Mexican architecture; the result is a reinterpretation of the distinctive texture of traditional ‘celosia’ screens. This building successfully reflects the beauty of LegoRogers’ talents.” – Richard Rogers / Partner, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

Torre-BBVA-Bancomer-By-Rogers-Stirk-Harbour_Partners-13-Rogers-Stirk-Harbour_Partners-759x420 Torre BBVA Bancomer / Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

© Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners


Torre-BBVA-Bancomer-By-Rogers-Stirk-Harbour_Partners-14-Rogers-Stirk-Harbour_Partners-759x456 Torre BBVA Bancomer / Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

© Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners:

Mexico City is built on an ancient dried lake and is prone to severe earthquakes so an innovative engineering approach was needed to reduce the risk of tremors. A ‘ fuse ’ was incorporated into each of the externally expressed structural beams. Its design focuses the impact of an earthquake by absorbing the shock to protect the rest of the structure. This structural solution makes the tower uniquely safe for a building of its height.

To combat solar gain from Mexico’s strong sunlight, a lattice façade system, (which evokes traditional screens or ‘celosias’) shades the exterior of the building allowing daylight in, and views out.

The building is based on the reinterpretation of traditional office space organisation, offering a variety of new flexible working environments for all users. Sky gardens every nine floors create outdoor space within the tower and provide meeting and break-out areas where people can enjoy spectacular views. Consequently, the architecture promotes a sense of community and interaction between staff.

The 50 storey tower provides approximately 78,800m² of prime office space for BBVA Bancomer and can accommodate approximately 4,500 employees.

Torre-BBVA-Bancomer-By-Rogers-Stirk-Harbour_Partners-15-Roland-Halbe-749x1000 Torre BBVA Bancomer / Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

© Roland Halbe

Concept:

The design responds to the Paseo de la Reforma’s change of direction at the junction with Chapultepec Park through its positioning on the site, to make the most of the views opened up along these two routes.

The architecture aims to promote a sense of community and interaction between staff. Sky gardens every ninth floor create outdoor space within the tower and provide meeting and break out areas, taking advantage of the spectacular 360° views. The internal spatial arrangement responds to the geometry and placement of the building on the site: the structural and service core runs diagonally across the floorplate and allows a reinterpretation of the traditional layout of office space, providing a variety of efficiently organised work environments for all users.

the spectacular 360° views. The internal spatial arrangement responds to the geometry and placement of the building on the site: the structural and service core runs diagonally across the floorplate and allows a reinterpretation of the traditional layout of office space, providing a variety of efficiently organised work environments for all users.

Torre-BBVA-Bancomer-By-Rogers-Stirk-Harbour_Partners-18-Rogers-Stirk-Harbour_Partners-759x455 Torre BBVA Bancomer / Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

© Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

Design:

The geometry of the exterior shading is used to create a lattice design which will protect each façade from sunlight and heat whilst optimising natural daylight. It gives the building a texture that evokes traditional lattice screens or ‘celosias’. The proposal is based on generating efficient, open floor plates in order to create a variety of working environments which are flexible and can be adapted to new ways of working. All areas will have ample daylight, great views and access to external triple-height gardens. These gardens, located on every ninth level, allow the working space to be assembled in ‘vertical villages’ and they will increase the richness and variety of the working environment. The common areas for employees such as the cafeteria (located on a terrace above the car park with spectacular views across the park), and an auditorium, are designed to

encourage increased interaction and create a sense of community both among employees in the same departments and between staff in different divisions of the Bank.

On the ground floor, the triple-height entrance on the corner with Paseo de la Reforma will connect the retail banking operations of the building with the commercial operations which will take place on the upper floors. From the ground floor, glazed lifts facing the park will take users, both visitors and employees, to the sky lobby level. The sky lobby will act as a ‘window’ to the city and the park. Exhibitions and public events are planned to take place in the vestibule, auditorium and cafeteria.

Torre-BBVA-Bancomer-By-Rogers-Stirk-Harbour_Partners-19-Roland-Halbe-759x732 Torre BBVA Bancomer / Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

© Roland Halbe


Torre-BBVA-Bancomer-By-Rogers-Stirk-Harbour_Partners-23-Roland-Halbe-759x574 Torre BBVA Bancomer / Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

© Roland Halbe

Construction:

The seven-storey basement, found directly below the tower and annex, is constructed from reinforced concrete. It has 1-metre- (3.3-foot-) wide retaining walls, concrete shear walls framing its ramps and 50-metre- (164-foot-) deep piles. Six large steel shoes (zapatas) distribute the loads from the tower’s megaframe into the basement’s retaining wall.

The annex is a 12-storey concrete-framed car park structure. It is separated from the main tower by concrete lift shafts and access bridges linking all levels. The street façade has a curtain wall of vertical aluminium fins fixed to the slab edges. At level 12, steel ‘umbrellas’ provide a canopy for the annex restaurant. The 12 umbrellas, formed from tapering flat steel plates, shelter a triple-height space. Roof lights span between each umbrella and glass folding doors access terraces with views across Chapultepec Park. A suspended aluminium frame, with horizontal aluminium tubes, provides shading.

The tower has a general plan arrangement of 46.5 metres by 46.5 metres (152.6 feet by 152.6 feet). It is 53 storeys high, with a steel and composite megaframe structure with thin composite metal decked slabs. Its light construction was necessary to reduce the seismic mass but provided sufficient weight to avoid hydrostatic uplift.

The megaframe is on the perimeter of the building and fixed on six 1.6-metre by 1.6-metre (5.2-foot by 5.2-foot) mega-columns at each corner. It is set outside the building’s floor slabs and façade, permitting flexibility in the internal layout. Horizontal and diagonal steel bracing is organised in three-storey modules. The slab edges are supported off the megaframe by pinned, bolted or stiffly welded connections.

Torre-BBVA-Bancomer-By-Rogers-Stirk-Harbour_Partners-29-Roland-Halbe-749x1000 Torre BBVA Bancomer / Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

© Roland Halbe

Project Data:

Project name: Torre BBVA Bancomer
Location: Río Ródano, Juárez, 06600 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Coordinates: 19.422859, -99.174925
Type: Skyscraper, Office Building
Floors: 50
Height: 235m
Project area:

  • Site area: 6,620 sqm
  • Gross Floor Area: 188,777 sqm
  • Office Area: 78,800 sqm

Project Period: 2005-2016
Status: Built
Completion: 2016

Awards:

  • 2017 – ArchDaily Building of the Year Award – Category: Offices – Winner
  • 2016 – World Architecture Festival Award – Category: Completed Office Buildings – Shortlist
  • 2016 – Structural Awards – Category: Commercial or Retail Structures – Winner
  • 2016 – American Architecture Prize – Category: Institutional Architecture – Bronze Award
  • 2016 – Engineering News Record (ENR) Awards – Global Best Projects Awards – Category: Office –  Merit Award
  • 2016 – Bienal Nacional de Arquitectura Mexicana – Silver Award
  • 2016 – MCHAP Awards – Nomination
  • 2016 – The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) Awards – Nomination
  • 2014 – LEED Gold

The people:

Client / Owner / Developer: BBVA Bancomer
Architects:

Project Partners: Lennart Grut, Richard Rogers, Ivan Harbour, Mark Darbon

Project Leads: James Leathem, Andrew Tyley, Georgina Robledo

Interior Design: LegoRogers / Skidmore Owins & Merril (SOM)

Project Team:

  • Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners Team: Richard Rogers, Graham Stirk, Ivan Harbour, Mike Davies, Lennart Grut, Andrew Morris, Richard Paul, Ian Birtles, Simon Smithson, Tracy Meller, John McElgunn, Stephen Barrett, Andrew Tyley, Stephen Light, James Leathem, Georgina Robledo, Mark Darbon, Mark Gorton, Douglas Paul, Dennis Austin, Matt Cooper, Benjamin Darras, Michael Hughes, Dirk Krolikowski, Leonardo Pelleriti, Barbara Perez, James Stoops, Simon Tonks y Alex Zimmerman.
  • Legorreta + Legorreta Team: Ricardo Legorreta, Víctor Legorreta, Miguel Almaraz, Adriana Ciklik, Carlos Vargas, Miguel Alatriste, Víctor Figueroa, Mariana Gómez, José Luis Barrera, Gerardo Martínez, Alejandro Ramírez, Guillermo Mateos, Óscar Islas, José Luis Corona, Diego Cuevas, Armando Echávez, Satoshi Kawakami, Tania Bárcena, Andres Martinez – Lanz, Jorge Vallarta, Alejandro Zamna, Francisco Espinosa, Samuel Corona, Lourdes del Val, Daniela Muñoz, Emmanuel Pérez, Fernanda Argüello, Luis Antonio Oviedo, Álvaro Hernández, Margarita Castro, Xavier Valladares, Berenice Corona, Gerardo González, Francisco Toledo, Roberto López, Noé Báez, Miguel Ángel Aguilar, Ivan Torrejón, Regina Martínez, Francisco Arellano, Oswaldo Anaya, Fredy López y Joel Rojas.

Project Manager: Jones Lang LaSalle
Construction: Turner Construction Company, Marhnos Construcciones S.A. de C.V.

Engineers:

  • Structural Engineer: Arup/Colinas de Buen SA de CV
  • Services Engineer: Arup
  • Geotechnical Engineer: Ingeniería Experimental

Consultants:

  • Lighting Consultant: Fisher Marantz
  • Cost Consultant: Ingeniería de Proyectos y Supervisión (INPROS S.A. de C.V.)
  • Electrical Engineer: DEC Group
  • HVAC Engineer: DYPRO
  • Public Healt Installations: ARUP, Garza Maldonado y Asociados S.C.
  • Air Conditioning: DYPRO S.A. de C.V.
  • Security: LOGEN S.A. de C.V.
  • Consultant Smoke Detection: LOGEN S.A. de C.V.
  • Acoustic: Saad Acústica S.A. de C.V.
  • Signage: Rommy Serrano
  • Parking Consultant: Walker Parking Consultant
  • Heliport: ConsultantATG Ing.,
  • Traffic Impact Consultant: ITT
  • Planning and Environmental Consultant: Asesoría Urbana
  • Catering Consultant: Grupo Lux
  • Multimedia: Saad Acústica S.A. de C.V.
  • LEED Consultant: HKS Inc
  • Thermal Analysis Facade Consultant: DYPRO S.A. de C.V.
  • Fire Code Consultant: ARUP
  • Transportation Consultant: ARUP
  • Electrical Consultant: ARUP, DEC
  • Wind Tunnel Study: RWDI Consulting Engineers
  • Consultant Codes and Regulations: Luis Rosales
  • Landscape Design: Espacios Verdes S.A. de C.V.

Selected suppliers & subcontractors, Manufacturers:

  • Timber column shipwrights: Ventis & Brasker Masten
  • Timber decking & handrail: CTS Bridges, Russwood
  • Decking & handrail treatment: Koppers Micropro by Norclad
  • Rope supply: Bristol Rope & Twine
  • Cable-net meshing: Carl Stahl
  • Bench joinery/manufacture: Heseltine Design

Text Description: © Courtesy of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
Images: © Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Roland Halbe, Lourdes Legorreta, Dolores Robles Martinez Gomez, Mark Gorton

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