The intriguing skeletal structure of the Nicolas San Juan Apartment building in Mexico City isn't just for looks (although it does look great). Inspired by the large shady trees of the Colonia del Valle neighborhood, the building's tree-limb-like structure is also seismically approved and the very shape of the concrete limbs optimizes material use as well as the ability of the structure to withstand seismic activity. On top of the great aesthetics, beautiful textures and structural stability, the apartments by Mexico firm, Taller 13, also boast a ton of eco amenities for the residents.
The apartment building includes seven units with split levels and views of both the street and the quiet interior courtyard. Each apartment is properly isolated from the others with strawbales to improve insulation as well as sound barriers – you won’t hear crying babies here! Hot water is heated by a solar water system, rainwater is collected from the roof and waste is managed through a recycling program. On top of all that, non-toxic paint and certified wood were used, and there are terraces all throughout the building that allow residents to grow their own food.
Structurally, the building is designed to withstand seismic activity and its skeletal structure optimizes the use of materials (besides just looking plain cool). The form of the concrete beams and framing was inspired by the beautiful, shady trees of the neighborhood. On the roof, a large bamboo structure has been built in order to create a large living shade installation once the plants start growing over it.
Images ©Taller 13