Mexican architecture practice Heryco has renovated an apartment building with layers of arches clad in pigmented lime stucco in Carretas, Querétaro, México.
Named Carretas, the 550-square-metre building, originally built in the 1990s, has overhauled as a renovation project located in a residential, family-friendly, and pedestrian neighborhood in Queretaro, with proximity to and views of the iconic Aqueduct of Queretaro.
Deep layers of arches washed with soft pink give the characteristic of the building, while creating an exploratory journey in the building.
After the renovation, the apartment consists of four spacious three-bedroom apartments, each with a study, ideal for families and professionals seeking a modern and functional space.
Heryco designed an architecture office in the ground floor, aiming to make it even more attractive with its direct connection to the street and serving as an anchor component in the building.
As the building was very old, the outdated construction system made it very difficult for the architects.
“During the renovation of the building, we faced some unexpected challenges, such as the outdated construction system used for the building’s structure,” said Heryco.
“This system, based on steel beams and lightweight concrete slabs, limited our remodeling options and prevented us from demolishing partition walls.”
After a careful analysis and study, the studio aimed to find a new aesthetic solution by leaving the exposed steel beams uncovered, enhancing the spaciousness and natural lighting in the spaces.
Despite the outdated structure of the building, the studio’s goal “was to give the building a more youthful image through the use of pigmented lime stucco, steel details, art, and furniture, creating a cohesive and elegant visual effect.”
The team used ‘Nanocal’ pigmented lime stucco to cover the entire facade and courtyards, and reinforced the building’s structure since the entire rooftop slab structure was corroded and required uncovering, cleaning, treating, and reinforcing from underneath.
In this renovation, the studio prioritized the comfort of the residents by installing an efficient heating system and ensuring optimal water pressure at all times.
“We also opened up terraces to enjoy the views of the aqueduct and installed high-quality furniture and mattresses to guarantee rest and comfort for the residents,” said the studio.
“To complement the modern aesthetics of the building, we integrated artwork by various Mexican artists, creating a unique and sophisticated atmosphere.
According to the architects, this renovation project becomes a great example of how architecture can transform spaces and improve people’s quality of life.
“Moreover, this project represents a positive contribution to the city by reclaiming an abandoned building and transforming it into a habitable and functional space.”
“The renovation of unused or abandoned buildings not only provides a solution to housing shortages but also reduces pressure on land use and prevents uncontrolled urban expansion,” the office added.
“This project exemplifies how building renovation can have a positive impact on the city and its inhabitants,” said the studio.
Ground floor plan
First floor plan
Second floor plan
Axonometric – existing
Axonometric – proposed
Project name: Carretas
Location: Carretas, Querétaro, México.
Completion Year: 2023
Lead Architects: Luis Carlos Aguilar González
All images © Ariadna Polo Fotografía.
All drawings © Heryco.
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pigmented lime stucco