Vertical Densification: The Architecture of the Structural System of the BBVA Tower Mexico City

James Leathem
Associate Partner
Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, London

The objective of this presentation was to describe the findings throughout the architectural design process of the structural system of the Torre BBVA Bancomer in Mexico City, which reached completion in early 2016. One focus of investigation was on how key aspects like seismic design and intumescent fire coating technology enable an architectural language that emphasizes legibility within the system and its components. Also, downstream aspects were explored, such as how local fabrication, construction culture, and constraints inform the architectural decision making process, and the emergence of a tectonic language that exposes the steelwork within the assembly. Further investigation was carried out into how the structural megaframe enables an architecture with multi-story garden spaces as a notion of vertical realm and urban densification. The presentation concluded with observations on the building as a tested prototype representing a new generation of urban substance.

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