Architecture

History of Horno Alto Nº 3, Horno Alto Nº 3 was designed by Arthur G. McKee & Co. from Cleveland, Ohio. The installation began in October 1965 and it began operating in January 1968, with the capacity to produce 1,500 to 2,000 tons of cast iron per day.  It had the most advanced technologies, notable among which were the electronic programmer of raw materials and the automatic system for the control of furnace combustion.

 With the beginning of operations of Horno Alto  Nº 3, the Monterrey Foundry reached a production of a million tons of steel per year, which made it the most important steel mill in Mexico. 

A World Class Job

The Steel Museum Civil Association “A. C.”, is a non-profit association  created to administer the project and later to administer the museum.  Its board of directors includes the government of the State of Nuevo Leon, different Mexican entrepreneurs and the most important leaders of the Mexican and worldwide steel industry. 

The design of this museum was entrusted to well-known national and international firms and consultants directed by the Steel Museum, A.C. Civil Association through a compact group of Mexican professionals who were in charge of planning and directing the project. They also served as a liason between the Board of Directors, the Building and Architecture Committee, the Technical Committee and the History Committee. 

The key to the success of this project was the appropriate and effective coordination among all of the disciplines involved.  Design companies and consultants worked together, in constant communication and sharing one vision, the Steel Museum. 

Aldrich Pears Associates, (http://www.aldrichpears.com/) from Vancouver, Canada, was responsible for the design of the exhibits and the detailed planning of the visitor experience.  This firm has successfully designed diverse narratives and experiences for museums, science centers, interpretation centers and thematic parks all around the world.

Grimshaw Architects, (http://grimshaw-architects.com/), a British firm with extensive experience in adapting old buildings for a new use, was in charge of the architectural project.  Together with Oficinas de Arquitectura, their associates in Monterrey, they designed and created all of the blueprints for the project.

The restoration work of the structure of Horno Alto Nº  3 was begun in October of 2005.  After 20 years without maintenance, this structure was so damaged that it was even dangerous.

After the most intense restoration phase, in March of 2006, the construction of new elements that would complete the Horno 3 spaces was begun: the Steel Gallery, the Access Pavilion, machine rooms, and general service areas.  Then the demolitions and repairs that were needed in order to adapt the casting room and the furnace were continued. 

For the Steel Museum, the most important thing was to respect the original structure, keeping volumes, textures, colors and in general the original appearance of the icon which Horno Alto Nº 3 had become through the years.

Sustainability was another important aspect of the vision of Horno 3.  This building is a pioneer in Mexico in the introduction of an original system of air conditioning which injects cold air through the floor, cooling only the area where the public is and avoiding cooling the highest zones, thus saving a lot of energy.  In this same sense, the project also includes a 600-square meter green roof for the Steel Gallery and many other types of insulation in all of the surrounding surfaces of the building.  

Finally, after 22 months of intense work, Horno Alto Nº 3 was inaugurated on August 16, 2007. More than 80 thousand people visited it in the first few months of operations, in the framework of the Universal Forum of Cultures Monterrey 2007.