Residencial Cumbres is one of the most successful housing developments in Cancun, located in a commercial area between the airport and the city center. In addition to the neighborhood’s steady growth, the complex offers various amenities to its residents, such as service and commercial areas and an important urban corridor for its users. Our critical analysis stems from the city’s lack of public walking space, which due to the climate, must be shaded so the users are comfortable. For this reason, all commercial spaces were built at the sidewalk level and the complex features an immense system of walkways, bringing commerce and life to the pedestrian.
Our proposal goes beyond any initiative, by promoting the expansion of public space through a pedestrian plaza, and by complying with land occupation guidelines, the building is set back from the sidewalk as much as possible, expanding the public space to create a city. The shaded space extends from the sidewalk an additional 20 meters, inviting pedestrians to use the space for living, rest and recreation, designed with universal accessibility.
A market study conducted by the property owner determined that the project would consist of a power center building with a mix of commercial storefronts and corporate office space, offering accessible commerce and convenience to the patrons. While this business model is relatively common, we wanted to take it a step further and proposed to create a public space available to all. This took the form of a public, shaded recreational space for pedestrians and even non-consumers to enjoy. This urban terrace immediately adds value to the surrounding context.
The project had to accommodate the typical commercial storefront layout, rectangular and in battery. In order to avoid one of the most common problems in commercial centers, the lack of interest and desire to access the upper floors, it was decided to give prominence to the escalators and place them in the center as a focal point, providing greater accessibility to the users. Continuous walkways propose various routes to access the three different levels, reaching urban terraces which are oriented toward the dominant winds. These terraces are perfect for cafeterias, bars and restaurants and are connected to elevators and escalators via the main walkways. The large overhangs invite users to stay and enjoy the space. To complement the commercial area, there is a different volume containing the corporate office spaces. This volume has a different function and language than the first, generating a “glass box” structure typical of corporate buildings. The spaces are more private and conducive to offices. Internal circulations have high efficiency causing the rented space to be more cost effective. Rental spaces for modular “self service” offices to be rented and subdivided according to the needs of each company.
While it can be a challenge to stay within budget when constructing a building of “normal” design and cost, it can be even more challenging for an atypical building with an irregular structure such as Meet Point. In this case, it was imperative to effectively utilize 3D BIM (Building Information Modeling) technology to develop all design and construction documents, allowing the team to fabricate digital models and collaborate across all disciplines, effectively avoiding construction errors. Another great challenge was the execution of the metal structure, due to its inclined columns and angled joints. This was addressed by designing, manufacturing and cutting the pieces digitally, then assembling them on site using screws. The other major challenge was the angled glass facade of the corporate office area, which was also solved by digitally designing, fabricating and manufacturing the parts.
INTERNATIONAL ARCHITECTURE AWARDS
• III Bienal Arquitectura del Caribe Mexicano: Mención Honorífica - Categoría Uso Mixto
• World Architecture Awards 10+5+X Honorary Members: Architecture - Realised Category, 33rd Cycle
• World Architecture Awards 10+5+X Community Members: Architecture - Realised Category, 33rd Cycle
• APR Urban Design & Architecture Design Awards 2019: 1st Place Winner - Commercial Built
• Peninsula Award For Architecture and Interior Design AA/Mexico: 3rd Place - Architecture Category
SOLAR RADIATION STUDY
To develop the project, a study of solar thermal radiation was made to determine the architectural solution of the envelope and materials to be used, in order to guarantee adequate comfort with the minimum of energy resources. Through the study, it was seen the need to generate solar protection overhangs in order to avoid direct sun radiation into interior spaces.
Our offices are located in Barcelona, Cancún and Chicago, but thanks to technology we can do projects on all over the world.
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