The Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations’ (OBO) new consulate general project in Hermosillo, Mexico was recognized by The Chicago Athenaeum’s prestigious 2022 American Architecture Awards for innovative design leadership and pioneering architectural vision. The design for U.S. Consulate General Hermosillo received special recognition as an award recipient in the civic/government building category.
The American Architecture Awards are organized by The Chicago Athenaeum with The European Center for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies. The awards are recognized as some of the nation’s highest public awards for new architecture and urban planning by the most prominent architecture firms in the United States.
Richärd|Kennedy Architects of Phoenix is the design architect for this project, with HGA Architects & Engineers of Minneapolis as the associate architect. Carte Arquitectos, a local architecture firm in Mexico, is the local associate architect for Hermosillo and Page is the architect of record. BL Harbert International is the contractor for the design-build contract.
The New U.S. Consulate in Hermosillo expresses American ideals of dignity, strength, and goodwill while meeting rigorous security and technical standards. The integrated whole-building performance incorporates functionality, security, cultural sensitivity, sustainability, and accessibility throughout the project.
Inspiration was derived from traditional public buildings throughout Mexico, with simple massing and openings celebrated with an additive balcony and shade canopy, often showcasing local artistry in the form of decorative ironwork.
The complex will be clad with white precast concrete panels and surrounded by a steel armature sunscreen that will support a panelized perforated metal screen. The perforated infill panels will work to develop a shading approach for the building that will optimize a balance between preserving views, maximizing daylight, controlling glare, and mitigating solar heat gain.
The building will feature high performance interiors allowing the mission to adapt and reconfigure the workplace environment as the needs of the mission change. The consulate landscape is designed to minimize water consumption by employing a xeric planting strategy, with species that are either native to the region or proven to be well adapted to the hot, dry climate of the Sonoran desert. The planting palette was selected not only to promote good stewardship of environmental resources but also to provide shade.
Throughout this project, an estimated $50 million will be invested in the local economy, and the project will employ an estimated 600 Mexican workers at the peak of construction activities.
Sources: U.S. Department of State Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations & American Architecture Awards