Zaha Hadid swoops into Monterrey with a pixelated housing complex, her first design in Mexico

Architecture International Unveiled
Esfera City Center in Monterrey is Zaha Hadid Architects' first project in Mexico. Image courtesy ZHA.

Esfera City Center in Monterrey is Zaha Hadid Architects’ first project in Mexico. Image courtesy ZHA.

Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) has unveiled the design for its first building in Mexico, a 981 unit, mid-rise housing project in Monterrey. The original brief called for 12 towers, but ZHA proposed the alternative plan that includes a large open green space surrounded by three buildings in a rectangle.

Esfera City Center in Monterrey is Zaha Hadid Architects' first project in Mexico. Image courtesy ZHA.

Esfera City Center in Monterrey is Zaha Hadid Architects’ first project in Mexico. Image courtesy ZHA.

The scheme is one of Hadid’s more nuanced, as individual units are expressed as such in a pixelated, morphing grid. Each unit is styled in the firm’s signature curved massing. Usually, their buildings main function is to look like a late ’90s/early 2000s basketball sneaker, namely the Adidas Crazy 97, the Jordan XV, or the Reebok Preachers.

Esfera City Center in Monterrey is Zaha Hadid Architects' first project in Mexico. Image courtesy ZHA.

Esfera City Center in Monterrey is Zaha Hadid Architects’ first project in Mexico. Image courtesy ZHA.

However, the so-called Esfera City Center attempts to engage with its urban surroundings, namely the two adjacent neighborhoods that are very different in character. The project is designed with ample open space to create a safe environment where both residents and passers-by feel welcome. The interconnected public zones include a café, gym, reading room, and amphitheater.

The project will be built in three phases and the first is scheduled for completion in 2018.

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