Designed by renowned Mexican architect Pedro Ramírez Vázquez and his firm ICH, Birdair, Inc. recently completed the fabrication and installation of a 34,800 square foot TiO2-coated PTFE fiberglass membrane roof for the Amber Interactive Center in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. This iconic structure was inspired by the human brain and serves as a drug awareness, prevention and educational center for the youth of Mexico.
The left and right “hemispheres” of the structure match the asymmetry of the brain and pay homage to the different functions of each side. The design of the structure is split by a band of glass with a smooth half-dome on one side and two overlapping domes on the other side.
The fabric membrane featured on the roof of the Amber Interactive Center is PTFE, or polytetrafluoroethylene, fiberglass coated with non-toxic and flame-resistant TiO2 (titanium dioxide) that requires less maintenance due to its self-cleaning capabilities. The material is also highly durable, weather and fire resistant, and has a projected life expectancy exceeding 20 years.
Known as Centro Ambar to Tijuana natives, this project was built by the government of Tijuana with support from the state and federal governments. The museum is located next to the Morelos Park and forms part of a cultural corridor that starts with the interactive museum and ends with the State Arts Center, all at the level of the nearby river. The Amber Interactive Center is a project that aims to teach children about the problems caused by drug addiction. The facility is made up of four rooms and in those areas, visitors will learn on topics such as science, the human brain, addiction and a life plan, and all related to the consumption of drugs. The museum is expected to educate approximately 150,000 to 200,000 children annually.
The idea of the geometry was developed by the well-known Mexican architects Pedro Ramirez and Gerardo Gallo of Mexico City. In addition to Birdair, the project team includes architectural group Modulo 7, general contractor Concreto Y Acero Funcional, Tijuana, Mexico, and the owners, City of Tijuana, Mexico, State Government of Baja California Norte and Federal Government of Mexico.