W Hotels Starwood, W Santa Fe Mexico City, Liberty Plaza, Accommodation

W Santa Fe, Liberty Plaza, Mexico City

Mexican Accommodation Building – Richard Meier & Partners Architects

5 Apr 2011

W Hotels for Starwood in Mexico


Richard Meier enters Latin American Hospitality Industry

New York, NY – April 01, 2011. Pritzker Prize-winning architect Richard Meier has designed two new W Hotels for Starwood in Mexico. The W Santa Fe in Mexico City and the W Retreat Kanai on the Riviera Maya are scheduled to open in 2013 and 2014 respectively. One urban, one Eden, they are both owned by co developers ALHEL and GIM Desarrollos of Mexico. It is the first collaboration for Meier and Starwood, and Meier’s first official foray into the world of hospitality in Latin-America. Migdal Arquitectos are helping to execute these detail-driven projects at the local level.

W Santa Fe – Liberty Plaza

W Santa Fe, Liberty Plaza, Mexico City:
W Santa Fe W Santa Fe Mexico City W Santa Fe Liberty Plaza Mexico City W Santa Fe Mexico City Liberty Plaza
Liberty Plaza – renderings courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners Architects

Liberty Plaza
Mexico City, Mexico


Located in the Santa Fe district of Mexico City, Liberty Plaza is a mixed-use building complex comprised of three 15-story towers. The gently sloping site is bound by three avenues and a large commercial project to its north. Nature reserves to the south and the east afford dramatic panoramas of the city valley, surrounding mountains and distant volcanoes. With 1.5 million square feet of underground parking, commercial office space, retail space and a hotel, Liberty Plaza represents an architecturally striking landmark for the capital of Mexico. Concept

The complex is conceptualized as three carved and shaped prisms, each unique in their massing and in constant dialogue with each other. The buildings flow through the site and embrace its undulating boundaries and slope, with one independent hotel tower and two office towers linked by a multilevel conference center.

Site Circulation

A vehicular spine is created on the north edge of the site providing access to independent basement parking and building services while alleviating the traffic load from the surrounding main avenues. There are two direct connections from the side avenues and two points of entry from the main avenue providing access to both a hotel plaza and a shared plaza for the office towers. This configuration allows maximum flexibility for traffic flows. As a result, the buildings are located on the southern portion of the site, increasing the distance from their large-scale neighbor to the north and heightening the impact of the dramatic views.

The Offices

Each office tower is configured with open floor plates designed to maximize efficiency and leasable space. A typical floor is arranged with the core placed to the north, freeing the south, east and west for office space with premium views and daylight. The towers are separated to allow for construction phasing with the conference center ‘bridge’ on the second floor to be built last, conceptually connecting the two as a single entity. The conference center covers a shared drop-off plaza with the double height lobbies of each tower oriented to face the other. Separate entrances are provided for the conference center and ground level retail spaces.

The W Hotel

The W Santa Fe which is part of the Liberty Plaza complex is configured as an “L” shaped building anchoring the eastern corner of the site and maximizing number of guestrooms. In a unique urban setting with views of the Mexico City valley and surrounding mountains and volcanoes, it is the centerpiece of a new business district and hopes to be an attraction to both travelers and businessmen. A series of guestroom and public terraces with views to the city start at ground level and climb the façade, as landscaped green gardens and establish a dialogue with the nature reserve across the street.

The program is distributed in three parts, with the private component in the mid section of the tower, between multilevel public functions on the lower and upper floors. The lobby and lower level public amenities include a bar and living room, two restaurants, a nightclub and a medium-sized conference facility. A grand stair connects these public functions and appears as the sculptural centerpiece of the dramatic multi-story lobby. The upper public floors house fitness and spa facilities and a semi covered rooftop swimming pool and bar with exceptional views. The hotel interiors are being designed jointly by Mexico based Edmonds International and New York based KrauseSawyer.


The south façades of the two office towers are expressed with external louvers to help maximize energy efficiency and with articulated screens of clear and slightly reflective glass pulled forward from the prisms. The result is optimal use of natural light with enhanced sun shading performance properties. The remaining facades are sheathed with the same glass as the south and areas of solid white aluminum panels without employing sun shading devices. Liberty Plaza’s curtain wall is designed to provide heat gain control and filter daylight without compromising tenant views.

While a sibling to the office towers in form and movement, the hotel’s facades are articulated as primary and secondary modules with operable windows behind the louvers. The detailing of these louvers in combination with large solid surfaces reinforces the building’s form and also animates the facade with vibrant textures and expressive elements. Balconies and terraces strategically positioned according to program and orientation also give added articulation to the building façade.

The materiality and color in each building will make the surfaces appear to transform throughout the day in response to viewing angles, the movement of sunlight and artificial lighting in the evening and night. Special elements such as the conference center above the entrance plaza are expressed three dimensionally and further highlight the south façade. This design will require straightforward and minimum facade maintenance.

Landscape and Sustainability

Landscaping principles complement and reinforce the architectural intentions of the Liberty Plaza towers. The buildings’ location relative to its circulation spine to the north and Av. Javier Barros Sierra to the south is ordered by a regular grid of local trees and staggered decks. These elements surround the three buildings to create a clearly defined zone at street level. Along the northern side of the circulation spine, a series of ivy covered walls and planted bamboo delineates a strong edge that focuses attention towards the south as well as concealing necessary service utilities. Distinctive paving materials together with decks, benches, foliage and flora will bring life and color to the landscape.

Liberty Plaza will be one of the first LEED accredited developments in Mexico City and, as such, will be designed beyond the code mandated requirements. Liberty Plaza will achieve such a level of sustainability by incorporating efficient systems of energy and water consumption, managing site and materials, and enhancing user comfort in an environmentally conscious manner.

W Hotels for Starwood in Mexico images / information from Richard Meier & Partners

W Retreat Kanai, Mexico
Richard Meier & Partners Architects
W Hotel Kanai
rendering : Vize.com

Richard Meier & Partners

Location: Liberty Plaza, Mexico City, México, North America

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