Winner of a 2021 AIA New York Honor Award, Young & Ayata partners Michael Young and Kutan Ayata will take us to Mexico City as we dive into their cast in place concrete apartment building.

The DL1310 Apartments is a mid-market residential building in Mexico City, consisting of seven 1-2 bedroom apartments. It was decided early on that the construction system would be cast in place concrete, that the unit types would be simple and straightforward, and that the building would maximize its site footprint and allowed height. These constraints allowed the designers to focus their efforts on an interesting opportunity in the project, the windows.  In order to allow light, view, and ventilation to all sides of the building, a scheme was developed to manipulate the windows into something familiar yet subtly strange. The rectangular windows are rotated into the building’s facade, resulting in two ruled surfaces at the top and bottom and transforming the window into an inverted trapezoidal bay. As the windows rotate in, the slabs appear to pull at the head and sill. This results in a facade that is both extremely blunt in its flatness and is also a dynamic bas-relief of smooth, undulating shadows. These windows also produced different interior moments as the shifting facade met the standardized unit layout. Views out from the interior became small events of oblique perspective as one looks both out and down the street at the same time, making each unit unique.