CDMX LABORATORY FOR MATERIAL RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT AND INSPECTION
The Laboratory is a complex composed of two main volumes of three levels, separated by bridges, reflecting the program's aim to provide two specific functions: a laboratory for construction material research (concrete, steel, asphalt, earth roads, among others) and its offices.
All the buildings are structured in regular geometries whose spaces are divided by lightweight internal partitions. It was done so in order to fulfill the initial program requirements, but moreover to offer flexibility in the future.
The rectangular volume contains the Laboratories and the squared building the office spaces. An open dining area and a main auditorium capable of holding 50 occupants complement the program.
The steel bridges are open to the elements for the sake of inhabiting exterior spaces. By walking from one building to another, one rediscovers rich experiences to our senses through exposure to the winds, heat from the sun, freshness of the shadow, the breeze, as well as some unexpected encounters. They offer an opportunity for the workers to take a break and a deep breath.
The buildings are concentrated to the center of the site to reduce circulation and to transform more than 60% of the lot into gardens that surround the architecture. This distribution provides the working spaces an access to natural light and a continuous interaction with greenery.
The main garden constitutes serene micro-environments and serves as a convenient filter to soften the high level of noises (both visual and auditory) from the avenue. The garden, an assembly of vegetation, pathways, formal plazas, play and rest areas, creates a quiet and peaceful atmosphere for the users. Its geometric design, a play of various circles, represents the many worlds floating simultaneously in the universe and counters the prevailing right angles of the built environment. Washingtonian and Phoenix Palms, colorful Bauhinias, large areas of lawn and grounds covered with volcanic stone and gravel all invite visitors to explore while offering a diverse and pleasant atmosphere.
A mix structure of concrete and steel enables spaces spanning more than eleven meters, ensuring adaptability of the future uses, and allows natural light into all of the interiors as well as providing open views to the garden from all the offices.
Concrete’s plastic, thermal and structural qualities shape the tectonic of the buildings. The soft and polished surfaces prevent high solar heat gains and reduce air-conditioning consumption, leading to cooler environments in the warmest months of the year.
The Office building is a cube placed towards the open views to the east of the city and takes advantage of the dense foliage of the existing trees to the north. All-glass facades are positioned on the east and the west and receive bright sunlight throughout the day but are simultaneously protected by the continuous balconies from the stronger sunlight during the summer.
The two gates controlling admissions for vehicles and pedestrians, both with universal accessibility, are short routes and always in contact with strategically placed green areas. The south entrance allows smooth loading and unloading of deliveries, and the north access has parking spaces for the personnel.