Let’s see, you have an older existing building and you don’t want to just let it stand abandoned or knock it down. What to do? While you could perform an interior repurposing/retrofit of that structure, why stop there? SHINE Architects and TAarquitectura didn’t stop there; in fact, they designed an addition that envelops an old building’s exterior at the Tec de Monterrey’s, Leon, Mexico Campus, as well. In doing so, they revitalized this underutilized space into a 12701 square-foot art/design studio workshop for the students. The space serves as a blank slate for the students to interact freely, without classrooms or lecture hall, existing solely as an 24/7 artistic communal space.
While the first floor contains public spaced like studios, exhibit areas and services, the second floor is comprised of semi-public areas for creating art (i.e. modelling, sculpting, photography, etc.). The architects removed all of the non-structural parts of the building (from the exterior walls, stairs, partitions, windows, etc.) to accommodate the wide-open-integrated space for multi functional design activities, with a transitional area along the northwest facade. All of the main facades contain glass flakes alternating the translucent and transparent properties, and allows diffused natural daylight penetration and natural ventilation into the building; even the building’s atrium has roof lights for diffuse zenith natural daylight with vents for any adiabatic air effects, effectively reducing energy consumption. Not only does this building accommodates its users that live in Leon’s hot and dry climate (that reaches 100F with 10% humidity), but it also wisely uses materials, proportions and light sources to translated them well into the building’s overall design concept.
As far as the The Habitat ITESM Leon general aesthetic is concerned, the architects sought out to concentrate on context, respect the existing materials, be different yet recognizable as an experimentally, designed building.