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Mexico City, Mexico City, Mexico


Carlos Alberto Bedoya Ikeda (Design Architect)


Ruy Berumen (Design Team), Ruben Flores (Design Team), Carla Romano (Design Team), Fidel Fernandez (Model maker), Pablo Manjarrez (Model maker


Propiedades S.A de C.V


Arturo Arrieta


Although the historic building is not cataloged, the intervention preserves the original exterior facades and focuses on the interior courtyards that had accumulated a large amount of equipment, roof canopies and building annexes over time, losing its function as a spatial connector between the different areas of the complex. These cluttered-up interior patios were opened up to create two complementary spaces for social encounter and green areas.

This strategy is complemented by specific architectural interventions to improve the operation and distribution of the horizontal and vertical circulations, to make the space accessible for all, and generating a promenade that motivates visitors to discover the entire complex. It incorporates new restroom areas, new stairwells, a new freight elevator, and constructing several addition al buildings and

warehouses to complement the complex. The new Hejduk-like tower with vertical circulations, defines a characteristic figure in the central patio and establishes a dialogue with the existing volume of “Mini-Bar”, the central anker of the mail social space.

Whenever we added newbuilt structures, we mimicked the existing facades with their robust concrete structure and unique square ironwork grid, in order to create consistent whole. Finally, we decided to reuse the green color present in the architectural elements of the old building and in the old weaving machines to define a new chromatic identity for Laguna, that weaves itself throughout the project. Just like Smithson’s Hotel Palenque, there are always some parts are of the project being transformed, creating a building as an continuously changing living organism.


As architects, we are almost always tied to deadlines, deliveries, and strict calendars to finalize projects and prepare for occupation: architectural projects have a clear starting and ending dates. However, this project works differently.

When we decided to leave our former office, after the 2017 Mexico City earthquake gave us a serious scare, we (and a handful of other firms) were looking for new a new place to settle down. A good friend told us about a nearby former textile and yarn factory built in the 1920s that belonged to his family: the building was severely run-down, but after a first visit, we also saw the potential of the historic structure. We moved into only a few weeks later, occupying one of the empty naves. At that time, we were joined by a furniture workshop and its 100-person strong workforce and a small coffee roasting company.

Since then, we have been slowly rebuilding the complex while inhabiting it… it’s an enjoyable project as we can learn, observe, try, and test while we occupy the spaces. Together with the owner, who carefully curates an interesting mix of disciplines and scales of companies, we can change the spaces according to the need of the new tenants arriving and adapt our architecture to the growing plants. It is a building in constant transformation and adaptation: a work in progress. The only project in the office we have been working on for more than six years and will be working on for at least of few decades to come… the luxury of never having to finish your work!


Today the vibrant complex houses more than 25 motley creative and productive firms (including carpentry and textile workshops, a coffee roaster, a ceramics studio, architects, a graphic designer, a risograph printshop, an upcycled furniture business, a textile workshop, and many more). It is carefully curated mix of business put together by the visionary client and owner, Alberto Kritzler. He understood from that start that it should not resemble any type of commercial space (like an alternative version of a shopping mall, or food-court, or co-working space), and deliberately continued the idea of ‘a place of production’: a ‘factory’ where people are working and fabricating, and where raw produce (coffee beans, wood, textile, clay) is transformed in a finished product.

The thoughtful operation by the owner and his team includes workshop with children from the neighborhood,

oral history events with former factory workers, and an artist-in-residence program, just to name a few. It has made Laguna a coveted cultural hub that become an important part of Mexico City’s cultural life. It relevance reaches far beyond its local impact, as Laguna has been hosting many events, summer workshops and educational projects for international visitors and institutions like Yale, Sci-Arch, and many more… As such, the Laguna project is just as much a socio-cultural construction as it is a physical and architectural one.

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