Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Banorte Contact Center in Nuevo León, México by LeNoir & Asociados
December 20th, 2012 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: LeNoir & Asociados
The Banorte Contact Center, located in the heart of an old industrial and educational zone in the city of Monterrey. Built in a 14,400sqm site located in one of Monterrey’s most important north/south Axis Avenue, just a few meters away from the University City and the “Niños Heroes” public recreational park. The project aims to build on a future stage of development other operatives, services and amenities facilities structures, reason why part of the site had to be reserved for future growth.
The surrounding environment evokes an industrial and austere character, with old factories and warehouses as its main components. This condition motivated the proposal of mechanized and simple aesthetics for the building. The monolithic facade is barely interrupted by red metallic volumes extruded from a concrete base, which contain operatively relevant interior functions.
The interior distribution scheme represented a functional challenge: providing natural light to the central area of a building with a strong horizontal proportion. This conditioning led to the subtraction of the central part of each concrete slab to create an interior plaza. The heart, or subtracted nucleus, from each office floor is randomly moved towards its facades to contain common and service functions, necessary for the operation of 1400 attention stations.
The second challenge was presented by its daily operations: mobilizing the daily flow of 2000 people, complying with the high security levels inside a bank institution. Elevating the main volume containing offices on pilotis, a central plaza was created between the basement parking lot for 800 cars and the operative area of the building, meeting the needs of pedestrian flow distribution, as well as service and recreation areas required. This big open space in the main floor of the building helps to articulate and distribute people throughout many accessibility filters, from the most public to the most private ones.
The building’s external skin is composed of a solar filter system that allows a natural entry of light, while at the same time minimizing every of its negative side effects, such as heat exposure, excessive light, etc. This treatment is repeated in three of the four main facades, being the main facade the exception to the rule.
The main façade rotates on itself, with a “trois-quarts-face” gesture, to direct its main curtain wall view to the “Niños Heroes” park, redirecting vehicular flow of the main access esplanade.
With its horizontal configuration, the vertical circulation unfolds with open arms that rise in four cardinal vertices with emergency stairs. In the east and west facades, random cubes are extruded, forming a play of light and shadow on this plane.
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