Rooftop Prim

2020 - Mexico City

Mexico City

The project is located on the rooftop of an early twentieth-century palace in the center of Mexico City, where cultural and festive events are held. To prevent canceling events due to occasional rainfall, the property owner asked PRODUCTORA to cover the three existing courtyards. Instead of making three independent interventions, we generated one single proposal: a continuous roof structure measuring more than 50 meters in length, connecting the patios in a straight line, and generating new covered surfaces in between the patios. The structure consists of 45 lightweight metal trusses, each 1.2 m apart, dividing the weight evenly over the existing construction and accentuating rhythm and perspective along the roof. The triangular roof section is designed asymmetrically so that one side could incorporate a covered circulation.

Light and industrialized synthetic materials such as the PVC deck, polycarbonate sheets, or railings made of nylon nets seek to reduce the weight of the construction and generate a strong contrast with the materiality of the historic building. Two different types of polycarbonates were used (translucent and transparent) to filter the sunlight while allowing to see the sky from the courtyards. Additionally, textile screens (borrowed from the agricultural industry) are 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 the patios and delimit the new terraces or the light fixtures that highlight the intervention in the city's skyline.
As an alternative to demolishing historic - but often not registered – buildings in Mexico City, this project shows how valuable structures can be re-used and adapted in an intelligent way when the financing for a full-scale restoration is not (or not yet available). It explores the esthetic quality of the building "as found "– and enhances that experience by contrasting it with a contemporary intervention.

Architecture: PRODUCTORA (Carlos Bedoya, Wonne Ickx, Abel Perles, Víctor Jaime) | Collaborators: Ruy Berumen, Diego Velázquez | Location: Downtown (Colonia Juárez), Mexico City | Structural Engineering: Kaltia | Landscape: PlantaDB | Client: Proyecto Público Prim | Surface: 9364 sqft | Photography: Onnis Luque


  • 1st place in the AN Best of Design Awards 2020. Renovation Category for Rooftop Prim, USA.
  • Architecture Honor Prize in Cultural Category by The American Institute of Architects of New York, 2021 AIANY Design Awards for Rooftop Prim.
  • Silver Medal at the Biennial of Architecture of Mexico City 2021, Cultural Category, Rooftop Prim.
  • Shortlisted as one of the 38 outstanding projects, selected by the Jury for the (MCHAP) Mies Crown Hall Américas Prize 2022.