BY DAVID BASULTO
Monterrey, Mexico, has astonishing views of the Sierra Madre Oriental mountain range - hence its moniker, "City of Mountains." Many of its recent residential projects, though, have been disconnected from the city's impressive geography, taking the form of enclosed glass boxes with private ground levels. Michel Rojkind, the architect behind the new development High Park, saw the project as an opportunity to "bring back neighborhood life, where people can meet, and where the serendipity of the everyday life can activate the building." With community in mind, Rojkind created a tectonic structure with a series of differently sized, stone-clad layers that pile up unevenly to create a kind of mountain. The recess of the layers generate covered terraces, spaces from which "neighbors will se each other - even if they don't want to." The ground floor, shaded by the overhanging building, houses shops and restaurants. Creating this public plaza was one the biggest challenges for Rojkind, who wanted the retail options to be available to everyone. "We fought to keep the building open to the city," he says. "Not a plaza with a guard and controlled access, but where someone passing by can go and sit on a bench or walk his dog around." Rojkind invited five local designers to give the development's apartments varied themes. "They designed them with the styles ranging from contemporary to classic, to show that terraces and the views are great in any style," he says.