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A brand new collaboration habitat for the students of TEC and the greater Monterrey community

Tecnol贸gico de Monterrey Expedition Building

Client
Tecnol贸gico de Monterrey
Location
Monterrey, Mexico
Size
220,660 SF
Services
Architecture
Status
In Progress - Anticipated Completion August 2024

Positioned to become a leader in stimulating national urban and economic regeneration, Instituto Tecnol贸gico de Monterrey (TEC) is proving the status of Latin American universities as major engines of innovation and entrepreneurship. The newest addition to TEC Monterrey, Expedition will be a multidisciplinary learning space that promotes collaboration between students, industry professionals, and the greater Monterrey community, driving research that will focus on solving the most pressing issues of our times.

Instituto Tecnol贸gico de Monterrey is on track to become one of the top 100 universities in the world, and is already the highest-ranked university in Latin America. In response to this trajectory, Sasaki completed an Urban Regeneration Plan for the TEC in 2014, establishing a framework for the long-term evolution of its main Monterrey campus. The plan creates an urban university environment that will attract significant research and development investment, while transforming the campus and its surrounding neighborhood into a dynamic and integrated Innovation District.聽

The first building born out of this plan is the Tecnol贸gico de Monterrey Expedition Building. Aligned with the University鈥檚 ethos of Leading the Expedition Path, the building will foster a culture of innovation, entrepreneurship, and knowledge through key interdisciplinary research clusters tackling both local and global challenges.

From Planning to Building

The construction of Expedition kicks off phase 2 of the urban regeneration plan, establishing itself as a foundational part of the TEC ecosystem. On track to be completed in Summer 2024, the building is located in the prominent southwestern parcel along the iconic Av. Eugenio Garza Sada Rotary and acts as a highly visible gateway into the new Innovation District.聽

Sited at the main entrance of the Tecnol贸gico de Monterrey, the building is articulated to create a sense of journey, allowing visibility to its surrounding context. Both building and site are intimately connected to foster a unique experience inside and out.

Phase 1: Core and Shell Design

The first phase of the building鈥檚 construction was focused on its core and shell. Instead of anchoring the building around a central, large atrium, the design distributes a series of smaller atriums across the building鈥檚 core in a 鈥渉op-scotch鈥 fashion.聽

Materiality, color and scale play a significant role in the wayfinding of the project. The public circulation elements share the same material language, offering an intuitive wayfinding experience with moments of chance encounters to 鈥渄esign your own journey鈥 and stumble upon spaces of preference. Each of the destination spaces carries a unique color identity that ties into the overall building color palette and provides a sense of place within the building.聽

The building鈥檚 shell can be distinguished by its massive footprint and irregular shape. Grounding the southwest corner of the Innovation District, the massing is broken into a solid base, a transparent middle, and a top that is articulated to serve as a sun shading device.聽

The solid base, cladded in a local volcanic stone and cementitious panels, houses most of the public programs and holds a series of terraces that carve the exterior journey of the building.聽The transparent middle acts as the transition from public to private and brings ample light in through the divide that separates the solid base from the articulated top.聽

The building top is expressed as the more vertical component of the building that ties the majority of the workspaces together with the spaces of the Collaboration Habitat, the building鈥檚 social space fabric. As a counterpoint to the podium, its materials are lighter in color and texture.

Environmental Optimization聽

In order to avoid a 鈥減urely glazed box鈥 while optimizing the building envelope, the initial adjustments of the building massing in response to the plot鈥檚 solar orientation required articulation at a local level for each building fa莽ade. Carvings, projections and reoriented windows are tested as part of several iterations that balance factors like illumination, viewing and shading coefficients, heat gain, and glare.聽

The combination of all of these strategies together with the building鈥檚 wall systems and glass specification contribute to right-sizing heating and cooling infrastructure for the building as a whole.

Phase 2: Interior Fit Outs & Unique Program

Sasaki developed a complex building program geared towards the campus鈥檚 main research entity, with the overarching goal to scale projects for emerging needs of the region and the country. These designated active zones offer a range of collaboration spaces and amenities while framing views to the iconic Cerro de La Silla mountain range, the Academic Campus, the future Innovation District, and the city beyond.

A series of common spaces connect each of the program levels throughout the building. Of the seven levels, the first two will be open to the public with access to a full-service restaurant and cafe, an experimental gallery space, an incubator, and a maker space. Alternatively, levels three through seven will offer private, dedicated spaces specializing in knowledge generation and value for society.

Color

Color plays a significant role in the identity of both the interior and exterior of the building. The interior palette draws inspiration from the iconic mosaic mural that encompasses the west fa莽ade of the Rectoria Building on campus, renovated by Sasaki in 2020. As you move vertically throughout Expedition, a gradient of tones grounds each floor and ties together the larger themes that host the different program elements.聽

Expedition鈥檚 exterior color palette draws inspiration from a set of mosaic murals from the interior of the Rectoria Building. The design uses the faceted relief mural as a modern horizontal mosaic that unveils a new gradient of tones from east to west.

The first of two Sasaki-led buildings born out of the 2014 Tecnol贸gico de Monterrey Urban Regeneration Plan, Expedition is on track to be completed in Summer 2024, and will be followed by the construction of the Tecnol贸gico de Monterrey Innovation Hub.

For more information contact Pablo Savid-Buteler.

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