Richard Meier Plans an (Accidentally) Aztec-Inspired Skyscraper for Mexico City
The architect Richard Meier spent much of last year south of the border, designing W Hotels for Mexico City and Playa del Carmen and helping to arrange a retrospective of his work at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo in Monterrey. Now he is doubling down on his newfound love affair with Mexico by adding a new Aztec-esque skyscraper to its capital city's skyline.
Today Meier released plans for the forthcoming 34-story Mitikah Office Tower, which is slated to open in 2014 as part of a new mixed-use complex currently in development in historic Delegacion Benito Juarez. In typical Meier style, the façade of floor-to-ceiling glass walls will be dazzling white in sharp contrast to the surrounding urban landscape, with sculptural folds on its sloping surfaces that indirectly reference Aztec imagery.
How indirectly? "When we designed the building and did the historic research and so on, we saw a number of interesting images from the early Aztec cultures in Mexico," project architect Bernhard Karpf of Richard Meier & Partners told ARTINFO. "It's not that we were trying to replicate or imitate that in any way, but when we looked at the design it kind of looked like something we’ve seen before. It was this unconscious inspiration that went into it — it's the coat, the armor, that the façade creates. It's some flavor in there that I can't really describe."
Contributing toward the building’s LEED-certification, those walls minimize energy use by providing natural light without overheating the building. Guests will enter through the completely translucent building base on their way to the 19th-floor sky garden, which appears to be complete with a sun-like golden orb, and can continue on to the 34th-floor floor restaurant and sky bar, no doubt with dazzling views of the surrounding mountains and Central Valley.