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Skybridges to Connect Buenos Aires Towers

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

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Earlier this month, Consultatio Real Estate and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) released renderings for a Buenos Aires-based waterfront office building, Catalinas Rio.

Slated to become the center of activity in the Catalinas Norte business district, the Catalinas Rio is reported to take up three of the seven lots reserved for the Buenos Aires’ new Catalinas Norte II master plan—a public endeavor which aims to transform underutilized railyards along the Rio de la Plata in order to extend the city’s business district.

“The city’s financial district is undergoing a period of unprecedented expansion,” said Eduardo F. Costantini, President of Consultatio Real Estate.

“The new plots acquired by Consultatio bring about new ways of coexistence and urban connection. Thus, Catalinas Rio was born as a strategic project, a crucial point of contact and passage through areas destined for commercial activities, combined with green spaces and cultural, tourist, governmental and historical sites. It’s a new icon that will change Buenos Aires’ skyline view from the river.”

About the Design

Made up of two intertwined trapezoidal towers—one 29 stories and the other 22—the Catalinas Rio is composed of retail and public greenspace meant to create an urban window that mirrors Buenos Aires’ historic fabric.

“The building itself is conceived as a vertical campus,” said SOM Director Kim Van Holsbeke. “It is a single structure that continues the vibrancy of the urban square up to the office floors.”

In order to connect the structure to the street and nearby waterfront, the design incorporates multiple skybridges (or trapezoidal floorplates) and green terraces that connect the two buildings to one another, offering views of both the waterfront and cityscapes.

In total, the landscaped bridges provide 10,000 square meters (over 107,600 square feet) of outdoor space designed for all seasons—roof decks draw sunlight on clear days while tower balconies provide shade in the heat and rain—and are complemented by recessed balconies in the tower floors.

The plans also include a pedestrian bridge proposal that would extend over the rail lines, highways and the Rio de la Plata to connect the building to the public river promenade.

"The result," said SOM Design Partner Gary Haney, "is an unorthodox solution that aims to set a precedent in Buenos Aires office design, with a primary focus on wellness, open space and creating a new urban identity."

Moving inside, the building is expected to incorporate high-performance glass that will create a solar shading filter in order to reduce heat gain. Vertical fins, horizontal shades and light shelves are also expected to help bring light into the structures.

Additionally, the building will also be using an enhanced air filtration system and give office users access to various water fountains throughout to provide a healthy indoor work environment.

Catalinas Rio is aiming to receive LEED Gold Certification once it is completed in 2022.


Tagged categories: Bridges; Color + Design; Color + Design; Commercial / Architectural; Commercial Buildings; Commercial Construction; Design; Design - Commercial; Design build; LEED; Office Buildings; SA; South America; Waterfronts

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