Mexico City's Torre Reforma Designed to Bend and Not to Break

Posted by Staff Reporter ( on Jan 18, 2016 07:10 AM EST
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MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - JUNE 26: A Mexico City skyline is seen through the haze from the Latino Tower on June 26, 2012 in Mexico City, Mexico. Mexicans go to the polls to elect a new president this Sunday, July 1. (Photo : John Moore/Getty Images)

Mexico City's skyscraper, the Torre Reforma, created buzz because of its architectural design. The tower was said to be designed "to bend and not to break." And that caught the interest of a lot of people.

The Torre Reforma is the tallest skyscraper in Mexico. It is a 57-story tower located at Paseo de la Reforma #483 which is right across the street from the Torre Mayor. The construction of the tower started in May 2008 and it is set to open next month.

According to Curbed, the tower has its unique design and the portion with triangular form gives a good view of the Chapultepec Park, the Central Park of the Mexican capital. The notable tower that resembles an "open book" was designed by architect L. Benjamin Romano of LBR&A Arquitectos.

What made the Torre Reforma interesting aside from the fact that it is Latin America's tallest building is that it is also the "world's tallest exposed concrete structure." This is something different considering that Mexico faces regular earthquakes which make concretes risky.

However, Romano said that to understand more about the structure of the tower then the people should look at the rest of the area's landscape. Romano said, "Look at the historical architecture all across Mexico, the temples that have stood for hundreds of years." He added, "They're all stone, and they all work because they can be flexible during seismic events."

It has been reported that the concrete facade of the tower may look brutal but apparently it can bend when there is a need for it. One of the main reasons that Romano opted such facade is because of its environmental advantage. The team aims for LEED Platinum status. That is why they swapped the usual glass curtain walls with concrete blocks.

The tower has great structural advantage since it can support itself without interior steel columns. Since there are no columns, it is more of open floor plans, something that makes the building more attractive to tenants and commercial real estate. Reportedly, around 60 percent of the building has been out on lease already.

There may have been a lot of challenges in making the whole tower but it is "a beautiful form of a right angle," says Tabitha Tavolaro, an assistant principal at Arup.

Tavolaro who is the assigned structural engineer for the project pointed out that the building does not only feature an amazing architectural structure and design but it also provides strong quality for seismic demands that fits perfectly in its location.

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