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ArchDaily, the world's most visited architecture site, has featured the ground-breakingof MRA's Citica tower in Monterrey, Mexico. Designed with Ibarra Aragón Arquitectura, the 25-story mixed use development will bring office space, residential apartments, and a pedestrian-friendly mall to one of the city's busiest thoroughfares. The anticipated completion date is December 2018.

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The architects’ first priority was the creation of a pedestrian-friendly experience that would enhance the level of activity at the street. Situated on a polygonal corner site with an elongated street frontage, the bottom two floors of the development contain a mix of shops and restaurants that spill out onto a vegetated, public pedestrian space shaded by a distinctive screen composed of interlaced steel tubes. A grand staircase occupies the corner of the site, forming an open and inviting transition from the street level to the shops and offices above.

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Wrapping six levels of parking above the commercial base, the tubular trellis is a unifying design element that not only screens the garage while allowing in natural light, but also provides a framework for hanging gardens that, even in this contemporary setting, recall the overgrown ruins of ancient temples scattered throughout the jungles of Central America. Occurring at multiple levels, this “green lattice” mediates between the three main volumes of the building.

Rising above the commercial base, two distinct volumes contain eight levels of office space and nine floors of residential apartments. Oriented with the long side facing north/south, the apartments feature sweeping views of the city to the north and the peaks of the Sierra Madre Oriental to the south. Vertical steel trellises on the east and west facades act as solar screens that block undesirable exposures. Amenities for the 87 apartments include a rooftop terrace, pool, and gym.