The Architects’ Association of the State of Veracruz launched an open architectural design competition for its headquarters to be located in the city of Cordoba. The mission of the Architect’s Association in Mexico is to promote the architectural profession developed within the highest standards of legal, moral, and responsible practice while promoting professional development, public outreach, design excellence and appreciation of the influence of architecture in shaping the city.
The project challenges involved not only a highly irregular site, but also a limited construction budget. The competition objectives looked for design proposals responding to open, flexible and rational schemes with strong dialogue with the urban structure and site. The architectural program involved a multipurpose space, stockroom, service area, office, workstations, meeting room and parking garage, among others.
The project presented here implemented a design strategy based on the natural allocation of program on the site. The program was consolidated into 3 main masses (private spaces, public/social areas, and service) that through the maneuvers of stacking and rotating were oriented to achieve a clear and efficient dialogue with the plot’s topography, reducing the excavation cost from the overall budget.
At the core of the project stands the multipurpose space, this polyvalent area was the key to open up the building to the surroundings while engaging public awareness of the range of activities taking place in the building. The design scheme tailored the open-exterior space such as stairs and ramps in such way to allow the building to expand and contract depending on the event or activity of the season. The multipurpose space was conceptualized as most public area to be used not only for the architect’s community, but also for the general public, informal visitors or passersby.
The project attempted to reduce the building’s footprint to the maximum possible, in order to reduce not only construction cost but also to offer more area for public and exterior spaces.
+ Project facts
Project Name: Architects Association Headquarters – Veracruz State / lab07 + JMV Architects
Status: 2nd Prize, Open Architectural Design Competition
Architects: lab07 + JMV Architects
Location: Córdoba, Veracruz, México
Architects in Charge: Carlos Marín, José Muñoz-Villers
Project Area: 298 m2
Project Year: 2012
Links to architect’s webpages: http://www.lab07.mx/ and http://www.munoz-villers.com/
+ Architect’s Profile
Carlos Marin (lab07/CEO) received his bachelor degree in Architecture from the National Autonomous University in Mexico (UNAM) in 2001 in 1998 he obtained the Best Student Honor Mention, and in 1999 was a finalist in the National Student Competition Alberto J. Pani. During this time he was also part of UNAM’s academic group. He joined TEN Arquitectos in 2001 and worked at the firm’s offices in Mexico and New York. In 2007 he founded lab07. The vision of lab07 conjugates the passion and experience of conceptualizing, designing and building architectural projects of various scales and types; always looking for a distinctive gesture, our work reflects the day to day development of a theory that we can later reflect in practice. We understand architecture as a constant search, free of personal preferences, commercial trends, or trivial and transitory ideas; for us, the creation of architecture is guided by an impulse to perform our work in the most honest definition of the trade. We regard architecture as the exploration of cultural, economic, typological and functional forces; as architects, we participate of Mexico’s unique conditions to complement the extraordinary mosaic called THE CITY.
lab07 began operations in 2007 and have developed different projects in the field of architecture including urban design, interior design, housing, retail, cultural, religious, residential, infrastructure, landscape. The firm have grown and developed in mexico city, a city that demands the most efficient and well thought solutions for different branches of design. At the same time the city’s strategic location has given us the opportunity to work all around the world. Our work is all about the process. The process is the main focus of this architecture partnership; we believe that the result is not a coincidence but the consequence of constant work. We conceive architecture as a combination of different ways of thinking, working, expressing and feeling. Our most valuable tool is the interdisciplinary nature of the work we do, we collaborate with professionals in the field of architecture and engineering to complement our work.
JMV Architects is an office based in Mexico City practicing contemporary architecture, urban planning and product design.