In a significant year for the firm, Richard Meier & Partners will complete Vitrvm in Colombia, the Engel & Völkers Headquarters and Apartments in Germany, Torre Cuarzo on Reforma in Mexico, and the CDC Xin-Yi Residential Tower in Taiwan during 2018. The projects have reached important construction milestones this year and each building has been designed to celebrate natural light and openness within the local context.
In Latin America both the Torre Cuarzo in Mexico City and Vitrvm in Bogotá will open during the first quarter of next year. Torre Cuarzo represents the first project built by the firm in Mexico and the towers are going to be located along Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City. This distinguished boulevard was designed to commemorate the history of the Americas and has become a major commercial thoroughfare that cuts diagonally across the city. Sitting gracefully along this road, the development is a 120,155 s.m. (1,293,338 SFT) mixed-use complex designed by Richard Meier & Partners in collaboration with Diametro Arquitectos who also acted as the project’s developer.
The new development is comprised of an iconic 40-storey mixed-use tower that will accommodate a range of activities, such as high-end offices, retail space, restaurants, a fitness center and parking. In addition to this tower, a tower containing a hotel will complete the complex.
The overall design of the project considers the current constraints of the city while accounting for the possibility of future development and the evolution of its surroundings.
The project’s simple design operations challenge traditional tower typologies. By strategically carving a central void through the main tower volume, structure and program are redistributed in a new way to allow for natural light and views from inside. The bold, yet simple, massing of the new towers will create a dynamic relationship between the buildings and the existing fabric of Mexico City while making a visual statement in its urban context.
In Bogotá, Colombia, Richard Meier & Partners will celebrate the completion of the Vitrvm development. The project is the first residential project in the country and the second project in South America after the successful completion of the Leblon Offices in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2016.
With impressive views towards the city and in direct relationship with the secluded Seminario Mayor, one of the largest and most important seminaries in Colombia, this 13-story residential project consists of two towers with a total of 37 condominiums. The 22,000 s.m. (236,806 SFT) project is located on a prominent site along Séptima Avenida in the north section of Bogotá, and is surrounded by the mountains and the gardens of the adjacent Chico Park. A ravine and water gorge delimits the property to the north and serves as a buffer and separation to the neighboring property delineating the unique angular shape of the site.
The two towers are distinguished by singular forms, each with a unique expression and in dialogue with the other. Tower 1 is characterized as a prismatic structure distinctively articulated by folds, planes and carved surfaces, while Tower 2, an almost rectangular shape is defined by two solid punctuated planes. The massing of both towers responds to the internal program, the relationship with the immediate context, the views to the exterior and the privacy required for each unit.
In the second quarter of 2018 the firm will celebrate the completion of the new Engel & Völkers Headquarters and Apartments in Hamburg, Germany. While following the urban requirements of the HafenCity district, the building provides a new perspective on the usual disposition of the courtyard typology.
The design of the project began with a pairing of the courtyard building with the organizational system of a hybrid building that contains a multiplicity of different programmatic uses such as apartments, training academy, offices and retail spaces within a singular and identifiable building. The organization of these various disparate programmatic uses are planned uniquely to provide the maximum benefits for each use in plan and section. The exterior of the building reads as a continuous and evenly articulated shell with elaborations that trace the internal differences of the project. The interior contains and reveals a series of shared experiences of its disparate parts.
The courtyard itself is transformed into an atrium as central circulation core and as an urban living room in the tradition of grand hotel lobbies. Its ceiling divides the public domain (training academy, shop, café and gallery) below from the private functions (residential and office) above, but also unifies them through the introduction of natural light and views through a skylight.
In addition to the building structure the building is defined by the open and spacious, light-flooded interiors with ceiling-height doors and floor-to-ceiling windows open to the city, the Elbe River, and the city port. Each floor of the 34,740 s.m. (373,938 SFT) building is a study in balancing transparency and natural light with various degrees of privacy and opacity required for the residential and office interiors to meet the local stringent sustainability specifications.
Later in the third quarter of 2018 the firm will celebrate the completion of the CDC Xin-Yi Residential Tower in Taipei, Taiwan. The 27,733 s.m. (298,513 SFT) tower is the first project to be designed and built in Taiwan, and it has been commissioned as an urban landmark by Continental Development Corporation. The CDC Xin-Yi Residential Tower rises 127 meters (417 FT) into the sky and will set a new precedent in Taiwan as a private building that dedicates its entire landscape to the public realm.
Oriented along a distinct east-west axis on Xin-Yi Road, the building respects the characteristics of the site through its organizing grid and scale in dialogue with the urban context. The ground plane is a continuation of the urban fabric that becomes an open landscape where the base of the tower is a generous public space immersed in a field of trees and sculptures by international artists.
The design of the tower is founded upon principles of geometric clarity and openness that are reflected in its horizontal and vertical organization. The building consists of two complementary volumes, a transparent south volume and a solid north volume. The relationship between these two main elements is emphasized through a subtle shift in both plan and elevation that creates a dynamism and variation in scale that responds to the immediate urban environment. Fundamentally, the solid north volume contains the services and core of the residential units that flow towards the transparent south volume which is a natural light-filled space where living, social and the more public programs are located. A carefully crafted geometric organization allows viewing corridors towards the mountains in the far distance.
The massing and proportions of the building are in harmony with the existing context, creating an articulated lower and upper tower volume. The lower part of the building will have two apartments per floor and the upper portion is designed as one large apartment unit per floor, creating an expansive free open plan. Luxury amenities, including an exterior swimming pool and roof deck, are located on the top floors of the tower with views towards Taipei 101. The project aims to contribute to the continuing growth of the Xin-Yi district as well as the city of Taipei as a modern and vibrant urban center in Asia.