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2018 MCHAP

Torre Reforma

L. Benjamin Romano

Mexico City, Mexico

November 2016


L. Benjamin Romano / LBR&A


Tabitha E. Tavolaro / ARUP (Structural Engineer) Dr. Rodolfo Valles Mattox (Structural Engineer)


Fondo Hexa, SA de CV


Alfonso Merchand Frias


The Board of Directors Project Objective was to develop an iconic, state of the art office building, with a commitment to obtain the Platinum LEED certification. They identified an ideal location that included a historical house but noticed the significant price penalty of the property due to City Regulations of maintaining the historic building. When we were invited to develop the project, we immediately identified that the historic preservation had to be exploited, for the social, economic, and cultural success of the project. The Urban City regulations allowed us to obtain certain urban benefits for preserving the integrity of the house. We proposed a displacement of the old house to build nine basements under the site, to allocate a commercial area, part of the car parking demand, the water treatment plant, the rain and grey water reservoirs, and some additional services. The offices' spaces are designed column-free, with a livable connection to indoor natural ventilated gardens, as well as breathtaking views of the Chapultepec Park. The building envelope generated a great energy performance with a 25% reduction according to ASHRAE. Understanding a skyscraper as a vertical continuity of the city, the building has an array of services that include, sports facilities, open spaces and terraces, bars and restaurants, gardens, auditorium, and public meeting rooms. With a significant demand from foreign companies for contemporary offices spaces, we proposed to fulfill the NFPA requirements, and comply with the New York tenant’s customs and habits, which has been a great commercial success.


Located on Paseo de la Reforma, Mexico City’s most renowned avenues, Torre Reforma is part of a cultural, historical, and financial district. It is a turning point for vertical urban growth in the megalopolis of Mexico City, having a 2,800 m2 ground site, extremely small for a high-rise building of roughly 87,000 m2. Its shape, derived by the architectural-structural parti, takes into consideration many social, financial and environmental factors. The 57 story building, distinguished by its triangular form, is composed of two 246 meter high exposed concrete walls, resembling the form of an open book, closed by a third glass-façade-metallic diagrid, with a panoramic view to Chapultepec Park. Its façades allow for a versatile column-free space and have a great impact on the reduction of energy consumption, shifting from an all-glass façades generation. The existing historical house on site is integrated, forming part of the main lobby. The commercial areas in the lobby and first basement allow for the street activity to unfold into the building. It is organized into 14 four-story clusters, buildings within the building, allowing users to interact on a larger scale with the city to a smaller scale within their workspace. In a city with high seismic activity, the concrete walls were designed to bend due to its openings, repeated every cluster along the tower, providing natural light to interior triple height gardens. These gardens are an extension of the horizontal public space at street level to a vertical axis, creating indoor micro spaces.


Considering the AIA 2030 Commitment for energy performance, Torre Reforma’s structural efficiency and architectural design has obtained the Platinum USGB certification. Rain and wastewater are 100% reused mainly for bathrooms and the air-conditioning. Water tanks, located along the tower for a more effective water system, rely on gravity rather than pump use, even on fire emergency. The reduction of energy consumption is due to the façade-structural design, concrete walls and double layer glass façade, allowing for natural lighting in all office space. The building is designed to optimize the users' flux within the building but also in relation to the city. Within the building, the elevators for Low, Mid, and High Rise are separate in order to optimize the different users but share the same shaft space for efficiency. By an EEES System, elevators can be used during a fire due to pressurized shafts and refugee areas on each floor. The robotic parking’s low impact on the environment has 400 cars that don’t emit toxic fumes when parking and space don’t need to be illuminated or ventilated. In order to have the least impact on neighboring streets, the underground parking has a third ramp that can adapt its direction: entrance in the morning and exit in the afternoon. Torre Reforma improved the visual quality of the city’s skyline as well as at street level for pedestrians. At ground level, the sidewalks were expanded and made accessible to all users and the historical house was restored to recover its urban value.

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