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Blending a custom masonry block, a structural stacking assembly and an age-old building method has yielded something entirely novel: the expressive windscreens that will shield Belzberg Architects’ six-storey office building planned for the trendy Roma Norte neighbourhood of Mexico City. Three of the six concrete-masonry sails curve along multiple planes, seeming to billow as gently as a silk scarf, and defying gravity in a highly seismic region.

The custom masonry’s large diagonal cavities align to create uninterrupted channels for rebar, letting masons rotate the blocks along their vertical axis to create curves as lively as they are organic.

Project: Zacatecas

Location: Mexico City, Mexico

Firm: Belzberg Architects, U.S.

Team: Hagy Belzberg, Brock DeSmit, Jessica Hong and Joseph Ramiro with David Cheung, Adrian Cortez, Udit Goel, Kristofer Leese and Corie Saxman

People’s Choice: Unbuilt Projects
These unbuilt concepts, imagined in Ahmedabad, India, and Mexico City, won over the 2017 AZ Awards jury with their originality.

Explore more Award Winners

Winner + People’s ChoiceUnbuilt Projects
Sitbon Architectes, Paris
Emmanuel Sitbon with Selma Feriani
WinnerUnbuilt Projects
Saguenay, Canada
Étienne Bernier Architecture (Canada); APPAREIL Architecture (Canada) and BGLA (Canada)
Winner + People’s ChoiceUnbuilt Projects
Toronto, Canada
Moriyama & Teshima Architects (Toronto, Canada) + Acton Ostry Architects (Vancouver, Canada)