Mexican architecture studio Productora has transformed a historic concrete industrial complex in Mexico City into a series of studios, including its own office. The building, originally a textile factory dating back to the 1920s, has been gradually renovated by Productora since it relocated to the space following an earthquake in 2017.
Situated in Mexico City’s Doctores neighbourhood, the studio initially set up in an empty “nave” alongside a furniture company. Over time, more than twenty other companies have joined the complex, now named Laguna. Productora has been slowly rebuilding the space, while also using it for their own operations.
During the renovation, the studio focused on the interior of the complex, while leaving the street-facing, painted-concrete exterior largely untouched to maintain its original appearance. The complex now centers around two courtyards, created by clearing existing structures, providing new circulation and gathering areas.
The courtyards feature a mix of newly built concrete workshops and the restoration of existing brick-and-mortar and concrete buildings. Productora intends for the transformation of the complex to be an ongoing process of adaptation and evolution.
Notable elements of the renovation include the cleared courtyards, additional buildings, expressive walkways, and a new freight elevator that dominates the site. The green detailing was chosen to complement the trim of the windows and roof on the original facade. It continues throughout the causeways and in the gridded window frames.
The courtyards also include social spaces where employees from the various companies within the complex can gather. Looking ahead, Productora plans to construct wooden workshops on top of the existing structure to create flexible and modular extensions for the current program.
Jozz Gómez, a coordinator for Laguna, noted that the presence of the complex has had a positive impact on the surrounding environment. She explained, “It started to bring more employment, but also changed the neighborhood. It was known to be a very dangerous neighborhood, but after the project started, you can see foreigners, students, and young people walking around the streets.”
Productora, founded in 2006, also has offices in Brooklyn. Their recent projects include a hotel in San Miguel de Allende featuring red and green tile cladding, as well as a bright-blue cohousing project in Denver, Colorado.
The photographs for the restoration were taken by Pablo Manjarrez, with the top photo by Camila Cossio.
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