the way we live

torre bicentenario


the above is oma’s latest wunderkid; commissioned by grupo DANHOS and scheduled for completion in 2010, the torre bicentenario as it’s known, will be latin america’s tallest at 984.25 feet (north america’s tallest remains chicago’s sears tower at 1,450 feet, though construction has begun on one world trade center, or the freedom tower, and is slated to reach the mostly symbolic height of 1,776 feet) oma’s building is simply stunning. i absolutely love the tectonic asymmetrical massing of the structure. and as if the tenuous nature of the building’s balancing act wasn’t enough to get you excited it appears as though the building’s skin will have some sort of light-shifting effervescence. personally i find this to be a gorgeous project. i can’t wait to see photos of the completed high-rise.


on the building’s interior will house 160,000 sq.ft. of office space, with ample public venues including restaurants, stores, museums, fitness centers, etc. making it a truly mixed use facility.  most important, at the building’s widest point there are a pair of void spaces acting as glorified atrium light and ventilation wells that serve to provide even the deepest interior spaces with natural light and ventilation.


the project isn’t without critique however; as you can see from the image above the torre bicentenario dwarfs mexico city’s surrounding skyline. on the one had there is an extremely powerful scalar dialogue at play here, a stunning graphic really.  but there is, on the other hand, a question of necessity.  is something this large necessary in such a dense, low-rise, city.  how will a structure of this stature affect the delicate nature of the urban fabric?  these questions aren’t merely academic, rather if left unaddressed/unexplored, a building of this size could, in fact devestate a city; and, in a city as old as mexico city, with their wonderful cultural background, it would be a terrible thing to destroy the cultural urban fabric.

personally, i think this building will be a smashing success.  its sheer beauty will certainly impact the lives of mexico’s city’s residents in a powerful way.  here’s hoping rem has done his homework on the impact curltural, physically, and metaphysically that this building will have on mexico city.

30 July 2007 - Posted by | architecture, urban planning

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