Torre Cube in Guadalajara, Mexico
The client wanted an office building with a distinct character. In view of the fact that only the total storey area (4,800 m2) was stipulated, with no restrictions in terms of height, the architects proposed a 16-storey structure, 58 metres high, laid out about three concrete cores. Housing supply ducts, vertical access routes and sanitary cells, the cores function like huge piers, bearing the loads of the prestressed trapezoidal floor slabs by means of cantilevered steel girders. The office areas are enclosed on all three sides by full-height glazing between the outer edges of the floors. These column-free spaces, which enjoy unimpeded views, are offered for sale in units between 100 and 200 m2 in area. Drawn round the outside of the glazing is a brise soleil construction, consisting of heat-treated timber slats, which protects the offices from overheating. Some of the steel-frame elements that bear the strips can be slid aside. For this purpose, access is provided via glass doors to the space between the glazed facade and the outer screening layer. Since the open strips also serve to ventilate this space, no air conditioning is required. Between the concrete cores is an atrium that extends over the full height of the building and is open at the top. It is accessible from the street via a broad external staircase. Lifts travel up the cores, serving the various office floors. The inner facades to the atrium are clad up to balustrade height with alternating bays of plywood and coated glass. A number of storeys have been omitted at various heights in each of the office wings, creating breaks that allow light to enter the atrium and that support the natural ventilation system. They also heighten the sculptural character of the building. In addition to the roof areas, communal terraces have been created at these points.