Client: Conceptos Urbanos
Location: 9ave 25-14, Zone 14 , Guatemala City
Design/ Architercture: Studio Domus
Builder: Urban Concepts
Project Area: 192,098.28 sq ft / 17,853 m2
Year Project: Design / Completion : 2008/2011
Photographs : Alejandro de León / Marko Bradich (aerial pictures)

With an amazing draft, a market study with positive results and a cost projection of work , they decided to go on sale , just a week after the start of the global financial crisis of 2008. Just one month later, in October of that year, the 108 apartments had been sold in its entirety. The combination of several factors achieved this so unexpected: low prices on building materials, pressure selling prices , credibility in the project would be of good quality and spectacular architecture.

This is an unconventional project that marked the beginning of large-scale buildings, built with the reinforced wall construction system. It was the first of its kind to use independent gas facilities in each apartment and the first to benefit from a program of municipal incentives, which allowed to increase by 33 % the buildable area of he building and increase its height from 11 to 18 levels.

The site, originally a vacant lot of 5,000 square meters in the middle of an area where strangely all socioeconomic levels are merged, creating a synergy that benefits business community alike.

The building is divided in two bodies: the first is the pedestal that occupies the entire field used for the main lobby and parking spaces, the second, a tower of apartments with 100% reinforced concrete walls. Both structures are connected by a mass diaphragm called transition slab, which transfers loads from the walls of the apartments to gigantic reinforced concrete beams of 1.40 meters cant  then interface with load-bearing walls of the lower block. Parking is a major structural drawer where the perimeter wall and column- walls are part of a seismic innovative solution.

The client stalked the opportunity of the global crisis, which proposed a change of mentality in consumers to reconsider their lifestyle to lower your expenses. This developer asked the architects three types of apartments 87, 101 and 119 m, respectively. The small two-bedroom and three other bedrooms, but all with living room, kitchen, separate laundry, two bathrooms and two balconies. The challenge for the designers was to make these small spaces comfortable, functional and very well lit residence, as the local real estate market offered only type buildings drawers with a cramped apartments on each level. Added to this, the architecture firm decided to develop a building with sustainable features.

The architectural solution turned out to be a building in an "H" form ( seen from above ), which generated eight apartments per floor. At corners, the middle apartment benefiting with 270 degree view and cross ventilation. In addition to privacy and ventilation, all residents can go to the green terraces that are located on level 2 and 15.

The lower and larger terrace is positioned above the parking lot for more than four meters high street . It was designed as a large plaza with gardens , sitting areas with wooden benches , a 250-meter track for jogging or walking continuously , children's recreation areas, a gym and a multipurpose room.

Green terraces were designed to meet three sustainable purposes: to minimize the solar radiation of the slab from the lower level,

To help cool the interior temperature of their environments; minimize solar reflection and thus global warming , and finally, ensure that rainwater is collected for use in the irrigation system of the building.

The social impact of this rooftop level 15 was exciting because it offers a quiet , sunny and with a fantastic view of the city space. The benches , the wooden mezzanine and unexpected gardens give a cozy look to this city dweller observatory offers a place away from the noise .

The change in lifestyle of future residents forced to rethink every part of the project, all should help the economy and its future maintenance.

Parking is only designed for small and medium cars , the internal regulations stipulating the prohibition of entering large, inefficient cars. Residents and guests are encouraged to use the staircase, instead of the elevator, to reduce noise pollution and energy expenditure. The natural lighting and ventilation of the apartments also help reduce your monthly energy costs .

Its plant in an " H" allows the central portion 18 levels enough to appreciate it from the street , thus creating a central square backwards, how to degrade gently staggered up on the tips of this plant to take them to the 15 levels high. Here topped with large windows corner going to the top of all these points .

The exposed concrete facade was stuccoed in matte white , the balconies and facades slightly green tinted glass prevents future curtains interiors colorful monochrome alter the facade .

The building should be prepared under the system or reinforced wall, which initially seemed to stifle architectural creativity , as all indoor environments had to be modulated by factors of five centimeters , with all its exterior and interior concrete walls and therefore structural ( unchanged at all out of the building) for lights between walls not over six meters, height of 2.40 m of floor slab (no possibility of false ceilings ) and emphasized the corners at 90 degrees for not raising the joints of the formwork . What was thought would be a " straitjacket " turned out to be used to achieve the proportion and order to design the complex. Shows how a project of exquisite architectural simplicity , consistent with its interior style , can show the positive impact it can have on an urban level when designed properly.

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