Deans Building School of Commercial Banking
Taller Rocha + Carrillo: Mauricio Rocha, Gabriela Carrillo
Mexico City, Mexico
Gabriela Carrillo Valadez Mauricio Rocha Iturbide
Jose Antonio Aguilar Garcia (Architect) David Junco Paredes (Architect)
Rafael Gamo Fassi
We were really moved by the voids and the tight relationship between the house and the huge brick wall covered by plants that defines the property borders; between these two elements, there are the garden and the patio. Finally an enormous rooftop with a last view to discover, totally empty and ready to be intervene. We deeply analyzed the house and everything that was part of its story, its composition and its construction virtues; when we fully understand it, everything was an accomplice of the choices made. We made tree punctual decisions, the first one was to understand that our architectural brief exceeded by double the available square meters so we designed a full transparent contemporary pavilion. Its real skin was the vegetation and the brick wall, but at the same time it was a gesture of absolute silence and respect. The second decision was to take advantage of the most fragile house structure to insert a volume as a joint that links every level with a service area and the vertical circulations that opened a view from the house and from a brand new dracaena forest. The third decision was the structural development we made to lighten the building the most so we can place it at the rooftop without any structure reinforcement into the walls nor the foundations, and to inhabit the rooftop dramatizing the borders motif and playing with the interior and exterior relationships. Finally we wrecked the wall.
The old neighborhood Juárez has been the EBC headquarters for almost a hundred years with a building community focus into build the Neighborhood. The former Dean Building used to be some streets away from the actual location in a seventies building in Reforma Av. In 2012 the school got a Porfiriana house from the early xx century; they pretend to change it into their new building. They were interested, in a significant way, to talk as an institution trough their architecture and show a tight relationship between their story and their constant innovation as an academic entity. We won the opportunity to develop this project trough a competition. To discover the house was a huge event; behind a 12 meters tall wall it was hidden an extraordinary garden and a palace that had suffered some interventions because of its different uses through the years. There is also an amazing brick wall that defined the plot borders. Last but not least a patio in the house heart, containing a swimming pool at the moment, an intervention made by its last occupants; gave rise to imagine a secret garden that claims the house ground floor, former sevice floor but now office area for the new building. The deep respect to the preexistence, from a yucca until a living room mirror were the starting point to develop our intervention.
Probably, the most important action in this project was to make an agreement with our client to wreck the wall and gives the Porfiriana house and the gardens to the city. To exploit the pedestrian scale from the neighborhood and the important number of EBC buildings that occupies the neighborhood as others academic institutions, emphasizes a big transformation to a 20 million people city with some security problems. Even in the construction process the neighbors start remembering, really amazed the house as it has been reveled. The main floor is used as meeting rooms and social areas, the ground floor and all the patios and gardens are coffee areas and recreational areas for the people who works there. Even the roof top garden is exploit as a meeting room and resting area. The chosen materials were steel, wood and an acoustic system with an amazing acoustic performance giving as really confortable offices that also has natural ventilation systems and a façade designed according its orientations. Little actions as sounding water bodies, secret gardens, indirect lightning and honor rolls as academic rituals, have build a place to our inhabitants where their memories and future make sense.