Ahead of the curve
Raul Barreneche -- Interior Design, 5/1/2003 12:00:00 AM
At the very outset of the design process for the office of ProcuraDigital in Monterrey, Mexico, Matías Odriozola simply drew three curving lines to form a rounded triangle. Over subsequent weeks, Odriozola Arquitectos refined that original concept to include the necessities—a shared work area for the consulting firm's eight full-time employees, workstations for visiting out-of-town employees, two conference rooms, a kitchen, and support facilities—but the triangle remained central. Translated into architecture, the gestural shape became a glass enclosure. Within it, Odriozola placed the large and small conference rooms and the visitor work area.
The office covers 2,200 square feet on the ground floor of a new spec building in the Garza García commercial district, just outside downtown. Walking through the front door, visitors encounter neither a formal reception area nor a receptionist. Instead, Odriozola explains, he arranged leather-covered club chairs alongside a stainless-steel coffee table to resemble a "small living room integrated into the rest of the office."
The enclosed conference rooms and work area are the heart of the otherwise simple plan, and the glass wall fulfills the client's request for maximum visibility. Because a wall of actual curved glass would have been prohibitively expensive, Odriozola generated his "curve" from rectangular glass panes. (Before installation, he used full-scale strips of paper to map out the shallow arc.) The laminate flooring and the lowered ceiling soffit wrapping the green-tinted glass are properly curved, creating a flow around the core. Thanks partly to that device, Odriozola was able to keep costs to $43 per square foot—an accomplishment befitting the business degree he earned before enrolling in the architecture program at Mexico's Universidad Regiomontana.