architecture firm PRODUCTORA has added a continuous canopy to the rooftop of a historical building in the center of mexico city. the existing structure is a palace dating back to the early 20th century, which now hosts a range of cultural and festive events. to prevent rain from interrupting these activities, the owner of the property asked the architects to design an intervention that would cover the building’s three rooftop patios.
all images by onnis luque
however, instead of designing separate structures, PRODUCTORA developed plans for a continuous roof structure measuring more than 50 meters (164 feet) in length. this intervention not only connects the patios, but also generates new covered surfaces in between the existing terraces. titled ‘rooftop prim’, the structure consists of 45 lightweight metal trusses, each 1.2 meters (4 ft) apart. this divides the weight evenly over the existing construction, while accentuating a sense of rhythm and perspective. the triangular roof section is designed asymmetrically so that one side can incorporate a covered circulation route.
light and industrialized synthetic materials such as the PVC deck, the polycarbonate sheets, and the railings made of nylon nets, seek to reduce the weight of the construction and generate a contrast with the materiality of the existing building. two different types of polycarbonate were used (translucent and transparent), to filter the sunlight, while allowing occupants to see the sky from the courtyards below.
additionally, the architects explain that textile screens (borrowed from the agricultural industry) have been integrated in specific places to mitigate solar incidence. the geometric rhythm of the structure is complemented by another series of elements such as the planters that overflow from the patios, or the light fixtures that highlight the intervention within the city skyline. PRODUCTORA says that the project demonstrates how valuable structures can be reused and adapted, without the need for demolishing the city’s historical architecture. see more projects by the same firm on designboom here.