Citica is a 25-story mixed-use development that has transformed an abandoned
lot into a vibrant center for living and working in the heart of Monterrey, Mexico.
Since its heyday in the 1950s, the city of Monterrey has seen tremendous
degradation in El Centro, its central core, which has lost population as rapidly as
the suburbs around it have grown. By combining retail and commercial space
with moderately-priced apartments, Citica represents a significant advancement
on the path to urban renewal and increased density.
Project Name: Citica
Studio Name: Miró Rivera Architects
Location: Monterrey, Mexico
Photography: Adrian Liaguno
Citica is situated on Avenida Venustiano Carranza, a major thoroughfare
connecting the city of Monterrey and the nearby municipality of San Pedro Garza
García. Located two miles from the city center, the development is intended to
serve as a catalyst for a municipal plan to provide pedestrian improvements to
major transit corridors radiating from downtown Monterrey.
In line with the project’s larger purpose, 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 shops and restaurants
that spill out onto a landscaped public pedestrian promenade shaded by a screen
composed of aluminum tubes cut at random lengths and supported by interlaced
Wrapping a six-level parking garage above the commercial base, the tube screen
is a unifying architectural element that screens the garage and shades the retail
spaces while allowing in natural light. Rather than treating the trellis as purely
decorative, the architects viewed the element as an opportunity to accentuate the
connection between the building and the street. Over three hundred linear feet of
the trellis were peeled away from the superstructure of the parking garage,
resulting in a shaded public plaza that occupies the most prominent corner of the
Distinguished by blue metal panel cladding and floor-to-ceiling butt-glazed
windows, the retail base was designed to foster active, dynamic street edges—
making life and activity within visible from the street, and vice versa. Recalling
the monumental steps of ancient Central American pyramids, a concrete
staircase forms an open and inviting transition from this plaza to the shops and
With integral lighting and a variety of depths and heights, the stair provides an opportunity for social interaction, inviting visitors to become spectators to the bustle activity at this busy intersection. Rising above the commercial base, two distinct rectangular volumes contain eight levels of office space and nine floors of residential apartments, with amenities that include a rooftop terrace and swimming pool.
Vertical trellises on the east and west façades provide a unifying visual component that emphasizes the verticality of the tower; in addition, they serve as solar screens that block undesirable exposures. Facing north and south, the apartments and workspaces
feature horizontal ribbon windows that provide sweeping views of the city to the
north and the peaks of the Sierra Madre Oriental to the south.