Castelar 75 is a boutique building designed by the renowned architect Fernando Donis. The building is located in Polanco, an exclusive residential area in Mexico City, and is considered to be one of Mexico’s most state-of-the-art edifices. The architecture is a revamp of the typical commercial building and features large spaces for offices, reception areas and parking. Its colossal size covers a floor area of 1207 m2, which amounts to 18,314 m2 that is spread out vertically over 17 floors. Besides its immense size, it is well-designed and features several environmentally-friendly design elements that make it an elegant yet practical contemporary building.
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From its conception, Castelar 75 was designed with sustainability at the core. Now, it has achieved LEED Gold Certification. To achieve this prestigious award, the Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) assesses how sustainable a building is. Credits are awarded for sustainability throughout the life cycle of the space, not just once it is built. This includes everything from the design, construction and running of the building.
A functional, biomimetic façade
One of the key features of Castelar 75’s design is the façade. It serves as one of the building’s primary sustainable strategies. The façade comprises of a brise-soleil created by angled vertical panels, which front the windows. This amplifies the shading provided by the brise-soleil, as the windows use low-emission double glazing to further minimize solar gain. The brise-soleil also shades ventilated terraces on each floor. Through these three elements, the building is protected from harsh sunlight and is provided with cross-ventilation, while featuring views to Lincoln Park.
The brise-soleil is made from large Laminam slabs from the I Naturali collection. These slabs are reminiscent of natural stone and improve the building’s thermal insulation. Despite their large size, they are very lightweight and do not affect load-bearing structures. They are also very eco-friendly and recyclable. In fact, by using this material, the designers were able to earn more LEED credits. This is because the Laminam panels contributed to the building’s recycled material use, which totaled over 20%.
Visually, the modules created on the facade are biomimetic, as they are an abstraction of the fractal nature of honeycombs. Each of the trapezoidal cells created by the Laminam slabs host pockets of greenery. Their playful, visually-pleasing nature creates a dynamic facade that reveals the character of the modern building.
Images via César Béjar Studio