A Tour of SMA / GSM’s New Mexico City HQ
Mexico City-based architecture firm Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos has recently designed a new office for its architecture studio SMA and real estate development firm GSM.
“Strategically located at one of the most important economic and cultural hubs of Mexico City (Nuevo Polanco), the new HQ was designed by our own Interior Design department, taking the corporate design to a more challenging level for being our own client. Floors three to five of the Antara II Corporate Offices—itself designed by SMA—are home to the strategically distributed offices of both parts of Sordo Madaleno. The new working dynamic and the operational transition towards a mid-sized firm of over 300 employees were among the challenges to be addressed, becoming the guiding principles of the design. The intention was that these determinants should not alter the existing work environment, which encourages each employee to appropriate their workspace and feel comfortable.
Each new space offers different settings for the various activities—collaboration, presentations, meetings—with functional and ergonomic furniture at each work station. To design these new spaces in the larger overall setting, exposed and neutral materials were employed in sober, balanced and timeless hues for furniture, floors and surfaces with the intention of transmitting a welcoming sensation. A striking element forms a visual and physical link between the entire office project: a sculptural spiral staircase occupying the triple-height space of the reception area on the entrance floor, and connecting to a key double-height space on level 4, planned to exhibit models, projects and a library of architectural materials.
This staircase, intended to expand the functionality of the vertical circulations, was designed with larger dimensions than necessary in order to form a point of encounter and gathering for staff between the three floors of offices. At the same time, the decision not to include an elevator to the fourth floor ensures the flow and interaction of users on the staircase. The white exterior and black treads and risers are attractive and offer unique perspectives at the different landings.
The entrance floor comprises, together with the main lobby, the administrative areas of SMA, a lunch room and terrace as part of the services offered to staff, and two main meeting rooms occupying a volume extruded from the tower.
The architecture and interior design studio is located on level 4, bringing together over 120 architects in an open-plan working space, with private offices for the project leaders and the collaborative working areas, meeting spaces and print rooms to the center of the floor. The work stations are arranged around the perimeter of the floor, offering natural lighting and attractive views.
Level 5 of the building is occupied by the administrative offices of GSM, with private offices for department directors, and three meeting rooms. On the same floor is the executive zone, comprising four directors’ offices on the south façade and the boardroom on the north façade.
Thanks to the modular configuration of the façade and the position of the services at the center of the tower, it enjoys views to Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra from the north side and to the central precinct of Antara Fashion Hall and the Polanco skyline from the south,” said Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos