Textile Factory is Repurposed as Minimalist Apartments

BAAQ' turns a Mexico City textile factory into lofts.

Kitchen inside loft

Arturo Arrieta via V2com


It's likely that as we come out of the COVID-19 crisis there are going to be a lot of office and industrial buildings in our cities that are going to need a couple of Rs – Repurposing, Reuse, Renovation, and Revitalization. Mexico City architects BAAQ' demonstrates how to do it with a light touch, in a 1963 industrial building that was a textile factory for a couple of years.

interior space with exposed finishes
Arturo Arrieta via V2com

They have left all of the existing finishes exposed, doing most of their architectural interventions in contrasting plywood.

"The building was designed based on a reticular structure of reinforced concrete beams and columns, due to its previous industrial vocation, creating diaphanous spaces without dividing walls."
Living room with concrete exposed
Arturo Arrieta via V2com
"A configuration system was proposed to take advantage of the geometry in the existing structure, relying on placing cubic elements of wood to provide private areas and also to generate a modular design that could be replicated according to the different programs, sizes, and configurations in order to meet the market’s needs."
Exterior of building
 Arturo Arrieta via V2com

Steel balconies are clipped onto the sides, and the front appears to have been left pretty much the way it was before the renovation.

Roof deck
 Arturo Arrieta via V2Com

There is a food-producing roof garden as well as common areas that "encourage coexistence."

balcony clipped on outside unit
 Arturo Arrieta via V2com

This project was apparently the result of neighborhood change, attracting young people. "The area where it is located is undergoing a densification process, and due to its proximity to the city center, it holds a historical character that has attracted a young population that intends to live near cultural and economic centers."

Exterior balconies
 Arturo Arrieta via V2com

Conversions of industrial, office, and even parking structures have been happening in cities around the world, particularly after economic upheaval when needs change. There are probably a lot of office buildings that are going to be up for residential conversions in the near future. This can be a good thing; it sops up the empty space and lets people live closer to work.

lobby and view through windows
Arturo Arrieta 

BAAQ´ has done such a great demonstration of how you can do this without adding tons of drywall and all the stuff that makes it look like a normal apartment building. They have no problem maintaining the industrial character of the building.

"All this to preserve the cultural and architectural heritage through the restoration of these constructions and projects, not only to maintain the presence of each neighborhood but also to reduce the environmental impact of real estate development."
Interior of apartment
 Arturo Arrieta

On their website, BAAQ' discusses the renovation as being part of the circular economy:

The consumption cycle that governs the world to this day is a linear system, and construction works in the same way.
Exploitation / Raw Material > Production / Construction > Use > Demolition
Understanding the time in which we live, our office believes in a system that does not produce as much waste and makes the most of the existing value of the buildings we develop, this is called Rescue > Design > Rehabilitation > New Use

We all have to start thinking about buildings this way. There are a lot of buildings out there that are going to be in need of rescue.

Outside view
 Arturo Arrieta via V2Com