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The Glorieta Cibeles Tower is a complete up-cycle of a 1979 74m tall and slender 18 story office structure that was abandoned and deemed unsafe after the historic 1985 and 2017 earthquakes. Completed in November 2021, and with close to 10800 built up sqm on a 617 sqm plot, the project is a unique example of innovation and urban recovery and renewal.
The transformation of the old building comprised four fundamental axes: structure and resilience; comfort and functionality; aesthetic and tectonic design; and sustainability, considering both operational and embodied energy.
The structure was tampered, ballasted and reattached to fix its 60cm tilt to the east. Above ground, the shape was regularized to avoid frame distortions during earthquakes. Finally, the existing structure was reinforced utilizing steel bracing and 4 viscous structural dampers were incorporated at each floor, reducing up to 60% of earthquake strength.
The core was redesigned and relocated cantilevered to its eastern side resulting in greater open floors that resulted in more comfortable and greatly improved interior mobility and quality. The structrual improvements allowed to remove a column that hindered interior spaces, deriving in a radical change from its foundation upward.
The tower is designed as a sculptural inhabitable obelisk. The facade incorporates a highly efficient double glazing, giving the tower an illusory quality; it stands out revitalizing, simultaneously blending in with its surrounding, thoughtful and respectful of the site.
The project strived to achieve the outmost possible sustainability. It is crowned by lush green roof gardens of endemic vegetation, representing over a third of the total plot space. It is Leed Platinum certified achieving 36.5% in total energy, 56% in artificial lighting, 67% in HVAC and 41% in water savings; additionally, by recycling the structure a 50% reduction in embodied carbon was accomplished.
The intervention demonstrates that old and deteriorated structures can be revitalized while exceeding all the current requirements of comfort, efficiency, sustainability, resiliency and flexibility expected from a new building. The result is a icon of urban recovery and renewal not seen in such scale before in Mexico.
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