BAJÍO 307 is a residential complex with 82 apartments located in Colonia Roma, a high-value neighborhood in Mexico City. The office that developed it was founded in 2020, after more than thirty projects in collaboration between the young partners.
The residential complex is situated on an irregularly shaped property that was formed by merging different lots and faces three different streets: Ave. Coyoacán, Tehuantepec and Bajío. The main challenge was to work with an early 20th century house that has been classified by the National Institute of Fine Arts (INBA) as of artistic value which is located on one of the properties. The house was restored and it was decided that it would house the access and common areas. From there, the project was resolved through a longitudinal compositional axis in the center of the lot; the two volumes of apartments are located in it.
The main access is from Bajío Street, creating a corridor that connects the aforementioned house, the two volumes of apartments, as well as the circulation leading to the common recreational areas, such as the patios, pool area and gardens. In contrast, the vertical circulation inside each volume consists of two stair and elevator cores that communicate with the semi-basement parking level.
The house was originally occupied by the administration of a school so various changes were made for its restoration. Drywall divisions were removed, the plaster covering of the walls was removed, bricks were preserved, wooden windows and blacksmith railings were restored. Panels were removed to reveal the Catalan vaulted ceiling and fillings that contributed to dampness were removed on floors.
Now the house contains the common areas; the lobby, library, cafeteria, restrooms and dressing rooms on the ground floor; the gym, meeting room and business center upstairs; and the rooftop is used as a roof garden area with a swimming pool, lounge areas and bars.
In the central courtyard, the paste floors were preserved, and a water mirror was added with a green wall where there is a work by Aldo Chaparro, a plastic artist. In the open spaces there are mural works by Cordelia Gonzalez and Rodrigo Roji. On the ground floor of the complex, towards Av. Coyoacán, a space was set up as a studio-workshop for artists.
The 82 apartments range between 98 and 154 m2 and are distributed among two seven-level volumes. In turn, each level has six apartments; notably, those on the ground floor and on the top floor are of double-height and feature a private terrace.
One of the important premises of this young office is the development of creative solutions to implement sustainable mechanisms in its projects, as well as the development of green areas that go from the ground floor, ascend through the facades and end in roof gardens. For BAJÍO 307 it was important to generate a significant green footprint, a microclimate in the middle of the fully urbanized downtown area; for this reason, the project has green areas on the ground floor, roof gardens on rooftops and 9,200 m2 of green walls. 60% of the property was allocated to free areas (instead of the regulatory 20%) and permeable areas were respected. For the gardens, resistant species were selected that were adapted to the sun and shade conditions of the complex and that consumed little water; among them, the cherry plums stand out, giving a touch of color to the vegetable palette. The green walls were designed as a series of openings and ramparts that strategically generate natural lighting and ventilation inside the apartments; they are composed of glass, stone, and species such as aralia and xanadu. In total, 65,000 plants were incorporated that annually generate the oxygen required by 2,400 people, filter 125,350 kg of carbon dioxide and trap up to 361.05 kg of dust, among other benefits to the environment. All existing trees were respected and 50 new specimens were added.
For the maintenance of all the vegetation, a rain catchment system with a capacity of 104'000 liters was implemented with filtration systems and programmed irrigation, advised and supervised by a specialist biologist. Water-saving furniture and accessories were used throughout the complex.
Regarding energy, an intelligent lighting system was implemented with sensors in common areas, as well as LED lighting in all departments. The towers are oriented in the east-west direction, which allows the greatest solar capture in all the homes without increasing the heat inside the apartments. The Lutron system, programmed to respond to sunrise and sunset, represents a significant reduction in power consumption. Every year, parameters are evaluated to optimize the automatic systems.
Technologies that make the complex self-sustainable (treated water, rainwater reuse, orientation, energy-saving systems) reduce the pressure that would be exerted on the area in terms of provision of water and energy resources.
BAJÍO 307 symbolizes a new way of building in Mexico City. It represents the possibility of improving the environment and city through projects that generously integrate green spaces and pieces of history. Among the dense urbanization it generates a landmark of heritage preservation and green space, a lung to give to the city.