Skidmore, Owings & Merrill has released the first design details for Catalinas Rio, a waterfront office building in Buenos Aires’ Catalinas Norte business district expansion that comprises retail, public greenspace, and two intertwined trapezoidal towers.
The two towers, one that rises 29 stories and another that rises 22, are connected by a series of skybridges and green terraces. The towers and bridge floors create an urban window meant to establish the active heart of the office experience. Large, landscaped decks cross both bridge roofs and are complemented by recessed balconies in the tower floors to provide views of both the waterfront and cityscape. In total, the terraces offer 10,000 sm of outdoor space.
Catalinas Rio is meant to create a new urban identity in the Catalinas Norte II master plan with the building’s public space playing the most important role in accomplishing this task. The outdoor urban square draws inspiration from the open spaces that characterize Buenos Aires’ historic fabric. The square connects to the street, waterfront, and every part of the building. It is located between the two tower forms and lobbies, where indoor retail and shared amenities on both sides are designed to form a cluster of activity.
“The building itself is conceived as a vertical campus,” said SOM Director Kim Van Holsbeke, in a release. “It is a single structure that continues the vibrancy of the urban square up to the office floors.”
Vertical fins, horizontal shades, and light shelves help bring light deep inside the building. An enhanced fresh air filtration system and access to water fountains throughout the building complement the daylighting to provide users with a healthy indoor work environment.
SOM also hopes to create a pedestrian bridge that would stretch over nearby rail lines, highways, and the Rio de la Plata to connect to the public river promenade, a nearby ferry terminal, and Puerto Madero, – a mixed-use neighborhood across from Catalinas Norte II.
Construction is slated for completion in 2022.