Dellekamp Schleich utilizza capriate per “Mexico’s largest mass-timber building”

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Dellekamp Schleich, a local architecture studio in Mexico City, has recently completed the country’s largest and tallest mass-timber structure. Named El Jardín Anatole, the 940-square-meter office building was placed in the former courtyard of a historic house in a dense residential area. The studio aimed to showcase innovative construction methods by using engineered timber derived from oak trees from the north of Mexico.

Unlike the prevalent use of concrete and stone in Mexican architecture, Dellekamp Schleich wanted to explore the potential of lighter construction materials. They stated that while laminated timber has been used in Mexico in the past, no building has exceeded two levels in height or been located in an urban context. Therefore, Jardín Anatole is the first and only structure of its kind in Mexico.

The four-storey building consists almost entirely of engineered timber, except for a V-shaped steel truss at ground level and concrete used for the elevator and stairwells. On the ground floor, there is a double-height retail space covered in glass, with a dramatic steel truss supporting wooden bands that wrap around the second storey. The structure also features exposed laminated timber elements, showcasing the innovative construction methods used.

As Mexico City is prone to earthquakes, the studio prioritized creating a solid and flexible structure that could withstand seismic activity. They meticulously designed the entire structure, including the truss, to withstand its own weight and potential earthquakes. Oak timber was chosen for its flexibility and distinct advantages over conventional construction materials.

Internally, the exposed timber continues, with wooden floors and ceilings featuring exposed wooden crossbeams. The ground floor is enhanced with dark stone floors that lead to a landscaped courtyard via a large sliding glass door. The landscaping, designed by Hugo Sanchez Paisaje and Carla Hernández, incorporates flag stone and steel dividers, blending harmoniously with the plant-filled surroundings.

Mass timber constructions have gained popularity worldwide, especially in timber-rich countries such as Canada and Scandinavia. Recently, Dezeen conducted interviews and case studies exploring the potential of mass timber as a safe and sustainable alternative to steel and concrete construction methods.

Mexico has also seen other projects that incorporate considerable amounts of wood into their structures, such as a brick music school with a coconut wood roof designed by Colectivo C733.

Photography of El Jardín Anatole was captured by Rafael Gamo.

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