The Mexico City campus buildings are smart, sustainable, and totally transparent. Come with us on a tour of the spaces that TEC Mexico City students will enjoy in August.
What do the buildings of the future look like? Let’s introduce you to the ideas behind Tec de Monterrey’s new Mexico City campus.
The structures that were built are smart, sustainable, transparent spaces, places that prioritize communication, cheerful colors, and classrooms that can be configured according to teaching needs.
The Mexico City Campus is a state-of-the-art, sustainable space that invites and promotes innovation.
“We were looking to develop a project that was timeless, contemporary, and international, one that is responsible in every way. All the elements it consists of are things that don’t go out of fashion. It has a very clean finish, with a rational use of resources. They’re durable and low maintenance buildings,” explains architect Arturo Pérez-Rivera, head of construction for the Mexico City campus.
In 2017, Tec de Monterrey faced one of its biggest challenges as an institution: the September 19 earthquake. According to the school’s authorities, that was one of our greatest learning moments and gave us a deep commitment to resilience, safety, and innovation.
“Unfortunately, this is a plan that needed to be carried out as a result of the 2017 earthquake. In other words, it was an institutional decision in which we chose to redo the entire campus,” explains architect Arturo Pérez-Rivera, head of construction for the campus.
The new Mexico City campus is the result of a process that took great care with infrastructure safety standards, exceeding those currently established by regulations for educational buildings.
Despite the fact that the regulations required Level B standards, the buildings are constructed to Level A (for hospitals), which covers a greater percentage of risks.
In a structural sense, all measures were taken into account: the construction area, the depth of solid ground, and the vibrations that the area can withstand.
“We have much stronger parameters in two ways: in the flexibility of the buildings and in the measures to contain movement,” says Arturo.
There are 40-meter-deep columns, on average 100 in each building, and a 1.5-meter monolithic slab foundation for flexibility and containment of movement.
The new library is totally transparent and gives the feeling of being built in a spiral, with the stairs being the centerpiece of the building.
Its astronomical design includes a system that follows Earth’s rotation.
The blinds go up and down according to the level of sunlight. As the building is designed to operate 24 hours a day, it also has motion detectors to save energy.
“We want people to move around via the stairs. That’s the point where students from all areas will find each other. We created a new concept. As the windows allow us to see everything happening inside, nothing is hidden,” explains the lead architect of the campus construction.
The 12,085-square-meter site will house 150,000 physical books plus a large digital collection. It consists of six levels and can accommodate about 3,000 people seated.
“Books are arranged by subject according to the classification of the U.S. Library of Congress —one of the largest libraries in the world, with more than 158 million documents. It’s expected that the entire collection will arrive at the Tec between September and October,” says Daisy Arrieta García, Library Coordinator at the Mexico City campus of Tec de Monterrey.
Each floor will have a different discipline, except for the social sciences. These will be located on two floors because that’s the largest collection expected.
“The library is the heart of the campus. It’s where everything happens. Of course, you’re going to come to consult physical books but there are also digital ones. You’ll have spaces to be with others and work as a team, as well as spend time with other students,” says Pérez-Rivera.
The Mexico City campus has been called the “campus of the future” where students prepare academically in a technological and constantly evolving environment.
The campus is committed to being at the forefront in terms of energy efficiency, with the idea being, in fact, to create a blueprint for the future to continue innovating.
“It was proposed that these three buildings be sustainable, that they envision how we save energy and resources in the future. All the engineering and systems are unified and centralized so that resources are used efficiently and we can connect more areas as the campus grows,” explains the architect.
For now, three buildings have been allocated: the library and two classroom buildings. However, plans for the future include larger areas for classrooms, buildings such as convention centers, residences, and more.
The buildings have natural ventilation, aluminum facades, solar panels, and state-of-the-art glass in the windows. Tec de Monterrey will be the first in Mexico to have this glass.
“Starphire low-iron glass is extremely transparent without allowing ultraviolet rays to pass through. This helps to keep the inside cool and reduces consumption of air conditioning,” says the head of construction for the Mexico City campus.
For the interior design of the buildings, large-scale acoustic studies were conducted to equip the areas indicated with sound absorbing materials.
Tec de Monterrey’s new campus in Mexico City was conceived as a space for innovation and learning, based on safety and technology. (Photo: Debora González)