Rio Tiber 53 by Belzberg Architects: 2018 Best of Year Winner for Shining Moment

LOCATION Mexico City
FIRM Belzberg Architects
SQ. FT. 24,000 SQF

Facades that are complex and, frankly, stunning are the hallmark of five ground-up spec office buildings that Interior Design Hall of Fame member Hagy Belzberg of Belzberg Architects has conceived for the real estate developer Grupo Anima. Not quite towers, they nevertheless soar above their neighbors in Mexico City’s dense fabric. The smallest of the group is a seven-story, 24,000-square-foot structure located at Rio Tiber 53 that Belzberg has nicknamed Profiles.

Rio Tiber 53 by Belzberg Architects. Photography by LGM Studio.

Its mid-block location proved the catalyst for the exterior treatment. “We believe that the design potential of mid-block buildings exceeds what is often afforded them,” he explains. “The sides of these buildings are left blank, with the expectation that they will eventually be covered by taller buildings developed next door.” Which may or may not happen.

Rio Tiber 53 by Belzberg Architects. Photography by LGM Studio.

So this architect left nothing to chance. Above the second story, one side of the volume pulls back, thus creating an unobstructed corner. He then wrapped the two continuous sides with perforated panels. They’re carbon steel, finished with electrostatic paint in a manner that appears striated. Circles of carbon steel, added to look as if they hadn’t been entirely cut away during the perforation process, protrude at different angles to give the facade an even more dynamic presence. Overall, the drapey effect is literally and figuratively a shining moment.

Rio Tiber 53 by Belzberg Architects. Photography by LGM Studio.

Project Team: Joseph Ramiro; Brock Desmit; Kris Leese; Jennifer Wu; J. Joshua Hanley; Elizabeth Lee; Annie Mak.

> See more Best of Year Project Winners from the December 2018 issue of Interior Design