The beginning of this project started when the company FEMSA, one of the major bottling companies and breweries in Latin-America, invited us to carry out an existing space audit in their offices located in the very core of Monterrey, a very conflictive zone with diverse land uses.
This auditing consisted on a qualitative and quantitative spatial analysis to be able to determine whether the total area they had was adequate or they required more space for their further growth.
The outcome concluded in a regulatory land use plan, a document as a guide towards organized growth with a regent vision, forecasting the key infrastructure investments and the phases advised to be achieved on.
One of the preliminary strategies that were elaborated was the acquisition of a nearby piece of land in the west side of the complex with a large extension and an abandoned four-storey building. At first, they managed to buy the building to relief the lack of parking issue and so to increase the area of their facilities.
In this particular lot there is a building from the mid-twentieth century that would host an old flour factory that never started to operate. On the inside, this building in primarily exposed concrete with a quite dense column grid structure that complicated very much to take the most of the existing space. On the outside, it has an iconic red brick façade similar to most industrial buildings of the time. The construction site is on the south side of the lot, almost 5 meters away from the railroad, so this particular contextual characteristic represented one of the top issues to solve: to soundproof the building and avoid the train derived noises and vibrations to reach the interior.
Approaching the building redesigning it was necessary to have precise knowledge on the sound impact levels caused by the train nearby to inside assuming it was closed and inhabited. In order to ensure the capability of the building to be soundproofed there were done acoustic tests at different hours throughout the day considering diverse options for suspended façade solutions.
A final solution was designed: a glass skin suspended 80 cm from the original façade and double windows with mineral wool in the frames to regulate acoustics as much as it could be done. (Figure X)
Finally, this project managed to make a joint solution on the technical acoustics and thermal situations with the architecture design being able to reanimate the original building’s spirit and face.
The interior was worked the same way the exterior was configured; making a statement and respecting the plain and industrial image the structure conveyed. Therefore, there were proposed few divisory elements covered in neutral color hardwood so it would not contrast with the exposed concrete original structure. The need added program are: an emergency staircase to the east and service hall to the west with men and women restrooms, elevators, warehouses, machine room and an emergency staircase.
The general installation system was carefully guided to not compromise the visual aesthetic.
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