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Caribe Federal Credit Union (Unbuilt) 
Guaynabo, Puerto Rico

After searching for a suitable land parcel in which to develop a new bank branch, CFCU opted to buy this narrow and deep 1.9 cuerdas parcel facing the PR Rd. #199. Recognizing that the land was too large for the inicial Project, and too expensive to be dedicated to this unique use,  the concept of integrating a second phase development consisting of an eleven stories office tower was generated.


A vehicular circuit provides access to the CFCU pedestrian plaza and the CFCU’s parking facilities on the northern section of the site,  and to the Caribe Federal Tower Lobby and the tower’s parking facilities on the rear portion of the parcel.  All exits convey in the western road that orients the traffic into a merging lane and later into Las Cumbres Ave.


The CFCU building, the first phase of this develoment, consists of a two story building, elevated above a pedestrian plaza, which covers part of the underground split level parking facilities. The lower level will be used for the banking operation and the upper level for executive offices.  This building is displaced to the west in order to increase the exposure of the tower behind. The louvers on the façade stress the horizontality of its mass. The great window pane on the north  “opens up’ to greet the members and clients. The 










Citibank Caguas
Caguas, Puerto Rico



As part of a new positioning strategy Citibank,  decided to consolidate various minor branches into regional branches,  to be combined with telebanking and web banking.  The new regional Caguas branch was built as a free standing branch at Las Catalinas Mall.  Access to the parcel was prescribed by the mall layout.  The building,  located between a 30 feet slope and the main entrance to the mall,  adopts a lineal shape,  with the closed façade towards the slope and open blue glass window facades facing the mall and the main mall access.  


After entering the lot,  clients are directed to the parking area.  Access to the branch is though the 24 hour banking lobby with three ATM machines and a night depository urn.    


The new facilities follow the Citibank Model Branch Global Design Standards,  which coordinate design issues on all Citibank bussiness facilities.   

auto-teller is located under the building along the vehicular exit pathway. 


The office tower, or second phase of this project, will consist of 129,000 s.f of office space, distributed in eleven stories with three levels of underground parking.   The vertical mass is emphasized with the use of vertical louvers which not only protect from the sun,  but also frame the views from the interior so as to minimize the exposure of the existing neighbours. The  tower is crowned to hide the mechanical equipments on the roof level and add verticality to the sculpture.  





 Inside,  the branch functions are clearly defined with four tellers and 5 platform officials.  Areas are spatialy defined with different floor and wall  finishes.  The remaining areas are occupied by the backstore (support services to the branch operation).  







The third level provides spaces for the Municipal Assembly, a social hall and rentable office spaces.


The facade is articulated to breakdown the building mass into a contextual scale within the traditional urban center.


An unpretentious solution is achieved,  harmonious to the urban context and  at the same time festive in its own character ,  fit  for  retail trade,  attractive for tourism  and conductive to the celebration of public life.


Dorado's Commercial Pavillion
Dorado, Puerto Rico



This project is located in the largest available parcel of  land  in the business district of the town of Dorado. Surrounded by three streets, it has to deal with particular urban situation on each of them: a commercial character on Méndez Vigo Street ( the main street, on the north) and a residential character on Sur Street (to the south).


The design of the project aims at the development of a Commercial Pavilion,  with needed parking facilities in the traditional town center.  


The building consists of three levels:  the lower one (partially underground) accommodates an 84 car parking garage,  with a buffered access from Sur Street.


The second level establishes the “U” form of the main body of the building,  with retail commercial spaces along an arcade on three sides of a central  open plaza, that faces Mendez Vigo Street.  The floor level is raised slightly from street level to establish its territoriality and hierarchy,  while integrating it to the spatial sequence of public spaces in the Central Bussiness District. Also an urban connector is developed along the central axis of the building with access through the stairs  and elevator from the plaza to Sur street. 



Caribe Federal Credit Union
Guaynabo, Puerto Rico



After many attempts to identify and adquire a new plot of land to develop a new bussiness branch and an executive office building, CFCU opted for buying an existing structure available for sale, in the desired location.


Our service was to help organize and design the required spaces within the existing building framework. However, the existing building requiered some repair work on the structural system and significant revisions and upgrade on the electrical and mechanical systems. CFCU decided to incoporate photovoltaic panels on the roof to help mitigate power consumption.  All air conditioning handling units and minisplit required in the new operations were changed to inverter units to reduce energy comsumption. All new lamping was done using LED lamps. Most of the existing acoustical tiles was reused to minimize garbage generation. Although the owner did not pursue a LEED Certification, it did consider green practices in the development of this project.

New facilities include a new branch, executive offices and support personnel, training facilities, a computer center and different required types of storage.


Externally  the emphasis was repairing the glass facade where damaged, creating a new entrance portico and improving the public sidewalk.


Internally, the branch level and the executive and personnel levels were the most considered.






Caribe Federal Credit Union
Hato Rey, Puerto Rico



After developing an initial design on a 1,072.5 square meters lot on a high intensity commercial district, the owner decided to acquire an adjacent parcel, to increase the size of the site where their new building was to be developed.


The building was conceived as a simple “utilitarian box”, to offset the additional land costs. The box was elevated from the ground level to maximize the parking area and the remote teller facilities.


The box extends to the east and west lot boundaries.  The north and south façades were provided with extensive tinted glass windows to capture the natural light. These were protected from the southern sun by a shading skin. Vertical circulation cores were “attached” to the main building (front and back) and a higher central roof was sculpted to further invite the natural light into the interior. The solar protection screen became the neutral background against which the vertical circulation sculpture makes the architectural statement.


The commercial operation is located on the second level.  The teller’s counter is located in the double high banking lobby (with clerestories), accessible through the greeter desk.  Platform area (sales and services to members) is displaced to the west of the banking lobby.  Support spaces and remote bank tellers are located towards the east.


The third level is dedicated to central management and support spaces, creating a double height space over the banking lobby and teller’s area.  This level is also dedicated to the Board of Director’s Meeting Room and a glass covered roof terrace.











The design considers the issue of flexibility and expansion, with the construction of structural frames on east and west facades that facilitate future expansion at lower costs and business interruptions.


In response to the need to control construction cost, the architectural expression is sober, yet elegant.  The character of the building is dominated by the juxtaposition of vertical sculptural volume of the main circulation core and the horizontal lines of solar protection screen that covers all of the southern façade, which render an unobtrusive building to the context, and a powerful image for the institution.





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