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2016 MCHAP.emerge

Levering Trade

Atelier ARS

Zapopan, Mexico

December 2014


ATELIER ARSº. Alejandro Guerrero and Andrea Soto.


SGR Edificaciones (Builder)


Diego Geovanni Mercado Caloca


Onnis Luque Rodríguez


Our project sets up a tectonic system of saw tooth roofs and vierendeel beams whose repetition along the facade make possible the character of the building itself and establishes a formal relation with a set of silos located a few meters from the plot. Variations in that system allow manifesting in the façade, the different conditions and requirements of the inner space of the building, such as warehouse, private offices, meeting rooms and other spaces. It is very important to understand that this building was constructed with a very low budget and that is the reason for the materials used in it. In the corner of the building we can observe a major variation in the tectonic system; the direction of the roof has changed to manifest the new relation with the side street where the entrance is located. Otherwise the slope of the roof could be seen from the street. A steel lattice work was proposed to reduce solar radiation and also to protect the windows from possible vandalism due the marginal conditions of the zone at night.


The project is about the construction of a building for a technology products marketer, in an industrial area of the metropolitan zone of Guadalajara. For us, it is very important to design attending to the character of the building through its physical presence and to communicate clearly the use of the building working with its image. Looking at the work of German photographers Bernrd and Hilla Becher, we can appreciate the beauty of the industrial structures that in part is because its forms and the relations of its elements are the result of the pertinence in use. In other words, they are beautiful because of the sincerity of its forms and none of its elements were added for aesthetical or decorative purpose. We wanted to propose a building that was able to communicate its industrial condition through the architectural elements. So we recalled a couple of forms that is possible to recognize as classics in industrial architecture: the saw tooth roof and the vierendeel beam. The work of Albert Kahn is a very relevant example of the particular beauty of industrial architecture through a tectonic expression.


The inner work space is described as a double height ward, limited by OSB panel walls that add a friendly atmosphere at low cost, and also maintaining the industrial character. It is possible to find craft workers on the streets of Guadalajara, weaving objects on request with different materials like plastic threads and many natural fibers. We wanted to add to the building a craftwork sample, so we decided to hire a team of weavers to work with the handrails, weaving its gaps with palm leaves. We verified the effectiveness of the saw tooth roof by observing the quality of natural lighting in the warehouse space, just by using a conventional translucent plastic sheet as a lid on the Vierendeel beams. The project put in value the importance of industrial architecture as a relevant tradition in our cultures.

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