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CEMEX Building Award Mexico Series: A Contemporary Work of Art

Date published: October 13, 2015

The CEMEX Building Award is an initiative created and organized by CEMEX for the purpose of distinguishing the best in architecture and construction around the world. Each year, CEMEX has distinguished the best construction projects and all those people who have made these possible: architects, engineers, investors, and constructors. In this series, we recognize the winners of the 2014 Mexico edition.

The Jumex Museum instantly attracts the eye at the Plaza Carso in the elegant Polanco district of Mexico City. Its size and enigmatic design—wrapped in white concrete panels enhanced with marble from Veracruz—make it a work of art in itself.

Conceived to house the Jumex Foundation contemporary art collection, one of the most important in Latin America, this project won first place in the Educational and Cultural Buildings Category of the 23rd Mexico edition of the CEMEX Building Awards Competition, going on to also win first place at the International edition in Institutional-Industrial Category.

Rafael Sevilla, Head of Maintenance and Projects for the Jumex Museum, entrusted the project to British architect David Chipperfield. What materialized was a contemporary eight-level museum on a trapezoidal tract of land with a generous multi-purpose space on the ground floor.

The museum’s spatial concept is ample, clean, and free, designed to avoid overshadowing the contemporary works of art on exhibit, which are characterized by diverse, multifaceted forms. It uses natural lighting, achieved through four large skylight domes. Similar to the structure of an ancient factory, its design connects the museum with Jumex, the Mexican juice manufacturer who wished to share its famed art collection with the public. Indeed, the outstanding courtyard feels like a public plaza. It blends naturally with the museum, so pedestrians can come face to face with the art within before entering the exhibition halls.

“This idea of inviting one to ‘be there’ while not yet ‘being there’ within the building is most interesting—something that Chipperfield had in mind for the project from the very beginning. The plaza is also a great success. Visitors like it very much,” said Sevilla.

White concrete, ultraclear glass, and marble were chosen for construction from the foundations upward, blending smoothly with each other. White concrete was utilized particularly for columns, ceilings and walls, as well as core areas where the elevators, main stairway, and offices are located.

Following preliminary studies and sampling, CEMEX’s pure white, high-strength concrete was chosen because it met both the project’s aesthetic and structural quality standards—perfect for the multiple levels of the building. According to Sevilla, “CEMEX tailored the concrete to the project’s requirements and structural specifications,” thus successfully blending CEMEX’s expertise with the client’s needs.

“Grupo Jumex and the Jumex Museum feel that this Award highlights the effort of the entire team who participated in this project’s design and creation, intellectually, materially, and structurally,” concluded Sevilla. After all, creating a window to contemporary art, while offering an aesthetic sensory experience to visitors, is not an everyday task.

CEMEX Building Award Mexico Series: A Contemporary Work of Art CEMEX Building Award Mexico Series: A Contemporary Work of Art CEMEX Building Award Mexico Series: A Contemporary Work of Art

CEMEX is a global building materials company that provides high quality products and reliable service to customers and communities in more than 50 countries. CEMEX has a rich history of improving the well-being of those it serves through innovative building solutions, efficiency advancements, and efforts to promote a sustainable future.

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