Facades pro Michel Rojkind on value-added building envelopes

Architecture Facades+ News International
Rojkind Arquitectos and Zahner crafted a new stainless steel facade for Liverpool department store in Mexico City. (Jaime Navarro)

Rojkind Arquitectos’ Liverpool Insurgentes department store. (Jaime Navarro)

Known for their playful, cutting-edge facades, Rojkind Arquitectos are adept at transforming obstacles into opportunity.

The firm's Foro Boca concert hall broke ground in Veracruz, Mexico July 7. (Courtesy Rojkind Arquitectos)

The firm’s Foro Boca concert hall broke ground in Veracruz, Mexico July 7. (Courtesy Rojkind Arquitectos)

Founded in 2002, the Mexico City–based practice is regularly challenged with delivering a sense of cohesion to unplanned urban chaos. As the literal and metaphorical mediator between a building’s interior and its context, the envelope is a crucial starting point for any such endeavor.

“Our first approach is through digital design and local fabrication, depending on the geography of the project, time, budget, etc.,” explained founding partner Michel Rojkind, fresh from the July 7 groundbreaking of the firm’s Foro Boca concert hall in Veracruz, Mexico. “We research local craftsmanship to enhance the final results.”

Falcon Headquarters 2, completed in 2012. (Jaime Navarro)

Falcon Headquarters 2, completed in 2012. (Jaime Navarro)

Besides considering the more pragmatic elements of design and execution, said Rojkind, “We also try to question what a facade is, in terms of performance or how it can produce other areas that blur the line between building and [exterior].” For him, the most intriguing question facing contemporary designers and fabricators is: “How can facades bring added value to the project—not only in economic terms, but also as social innovation?”

Rojkind will deliver the opening keynote September 10 at Facades+ Miami, the South Florida debut of the popular conference series on high performance building enclosures. Speaking of architectural conditions in the conference’s host city, Rojkind—himself an old hand at designing for a hot, sunny climate—said, “I think there are great opportunities to really push for interior/exterior living connections and blur those boundaries. [We can] learn from the past while embracing future social interactions as a design [guide].”

Hear more from Rojkind and other movers and shakers in the AEC industry, and participate in exclusive local field trips, at Facades+ Miami this fall. For more information or to register, visit the conference website.

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