CENTRO COMERCIAL EL TOREO
Dünn constructed for the architectural firm Sordo Madaleno a ceiling for El Toreo’s shopping center with innovations that combine both modern luminous and mobile mechanisms.
This work has been of the most innovative in Mexico, being the first mobile ceiling in the country and enhancing what is already the most important retail center in Mexico City, El Toreo.
The old Toreo de Cuatro Caminos was used as a Bullfighting arena, located in Naucalpan, state of Mexico, a few meters from the border of Distrito Federal (The Federal District). In time, urban sprawl surrounded the arena and Blvd. Manuel Avila Camacho was built (Anillo Periferico).
As the city continued to grow, the available land became exceedingly scarce, which initiated a rise in the acquisition and demolition of pre-existing buildings to be replaced with more modern and urban development.
This was the fate of El Toreo, and thanks to the joined efforts of developer Dhaos and the architecture firm Sordo Madaleno, a cutting edge commercial center was developed in the space resulting in the collaboration’s proposal for Dünn to construct the central ceiling of the plaza.
On the main challenges were safety and coordination. Our works had to the executed atop a 20,000 m2 (216,000 sqf) existing cristal roof. At the center, a half sphere with 60 mts diameter. This half sphere is formed by independent automated triangles programed to open and close as desire by the operator. This allows the area to have an “outdoor feeling” and offer protection to the elements when necessary.
Design and develop a lightweight automated dome, programmable to offer a show based on visual effects.
This concept was inspired by two buildings in Abu Dhabi: the Al Bahar Towers and the Yas Viceroy Hotel. A mixture of these concepts resulted in a hinged cover comprised of 116 collapsing and automated triangular sections that open and close based on climatic conditions, such as the speed of wind, rain or hail. In addition, they wanted the triangles to create a visual spectacle similar to that of the Bellagio fountains.
The structural aspect was the most complex portion; it had to be a structure with a triangular perimeter as well as being light-weight and resistant. Dünn made the calculations and design with an aluminum profile that was fabricated specifically for durability and resistance. A made to scale model of 15 different types of motors (linear actuators) were tested for the opening and closing of the triangles, positioning them vertically, horizontally, and at 45 degree angles: tests were made for several days, everyday, at all hours to guarantee the proper function of the motors. Each triangle possesses two engines along with a hinge system that ensures an airtight seal and the prevention of any leaking.
To give an appearance of semi-transparency and translucency, Ferrari FX uses fiberglass filaments which perfectly illuminate the structure through their ability to let in light. In regards to the automation, Dünn in collaboration with a German company, used motors monitored and controlled in the presence of climatic changes.
As for the assembly that could not be able to be done with cranes, this problem was resolved with manual engineering and pieces especially designed for mounting. A cable line was used to transport the triangular pieces into position, in accordance with personnel specialized in heights and paramedics. It should be noted that Dünn is certified by Harvard, Oshea and CS Platino for working in high-rise architecture.
The most important retail outlet in Mexico designed by prominent Mexican Architectural Firm Sordo Madaleno and financed/owned by Danhos Group has now the largest automated roof in Latin America.