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Estoa, University of Monterrey

Tatiana Bilbao ESTUDIO

San Pedro Garza García, Mexico

May 2019






University of Monterrey


Iwan Baan


Within the Master Plan of the University of Monterrey, the Estoa building is located west of the campus. It is the university's main entrance, so its position has a significant impact on the interior and exterior of the campus since it is the element that receives thousands of people daily on their arrival at the institution.

As pre-existing conditions for our project, excavation work had begun on the 2.4 hectare (5.9 acres) site's footprint, so the design had to start from the need to occupy that area and thus avoid further expense during the construction phase.

The project has a total of 111,008.62m² (1,194,886 ft²) of construction, where there are student spaces, commercial areas, service offices, and Continuing Education rooms, as well as 22,500m² (242,187ft²) of the plaza.

In that plaza, the project incorporates the most significant possible number of square meters of green areas and currently has 8,065m² (86,810ft²) of vegetation, equivalent to 43.3% of the site's construction footprint. The landscaping is made up of species from the region that are adaptable to the climate, and only 40% of the green areas require constant irrigation.

Estoa is LEED gold; the facilities with little maintenance and low consumption of natural resources ensure its optimal performance. The building won the CEMEX Building Award 2021 category Sustainable Building Mexico Edition and the 2021 USGBC Leadership Awarded.


The University of Monterrey contacted Tatiana Bilbao Estudio to design Estoa, a mixed-use building to enrich student life, improve the community experience and contribute to the generation of public spaces. Estoa is a building planned as a catalyst between the past and the future of the campus. It follows the vision of the Master Plan of the University to create a pedestrian campus and a green lung for the western area of Monterrey.

Estoa is a project defined as a building that works on two different scales. The urban scale responds to the context of the campus periphery, and the human scale responds to the user of the building, creating more intimate spaces.

The site's topography and the program's complexity led us to conceptualize the building as a conglomerate of rectangular volumes that protrude from the ground level. Each box has a specific part of the program and is grouped according to its characteristics. The private areas are grouped at the project's base, and at the upper levels are public areas.

The primary design idea allowed the original program to add 22,500 m² (242,187ft²) of ground-level landscaping. Estoa's emblematic landscape is designed with the premise of having native vegetation and remarkable versatility to fulfill the functions of a public square as a platform for inclusive social life abroad and function as a prelude to the other spaces and buildings on campus.


The building is organized in the following levels:

Basement Level: It is the access to the building's general services, storage, and maintenance areas.

Level 1: Concentrates the Continuing Education program with twelve multipurpose rooms and five open-air patios.

Level 2: It is the access to the parking lot and where most institutional offices that provide different services to the community are located.

Level 3: The third level matches with the ground floor of all the campus, and it is occupied by a large access plaza connected to the entrance on the west side of the campus and serves as a lobby and distributor between the Architecture school, the future Auditorium, the Rectory, and Estoa itself.

The versatility and scale of the plaza allow it to receive large-format events. This esplanade has native vegetation, social services, and philanthropy offices.

There are twelve commercial locals in the northern part of the plaza, five for restaurants, and the rest for stores that serve the university population.

Level 4: This space is primarily for the university community; 70% of the level's surface is destined for student activities, and it has working spaces, recreation areas, terraces, and storage.

Level 5: It is a large terrace area where events can be held, and it has the privilege of an almost 360° view of the mountain landscape of Monterrey. It has the possibility of operating as a private space, independently from the activities of the rest of the building

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