Blending Past and Present
Based in Monterrey, Mexico, Museo del Acero Horno3 was inaugurated in September  2007 as a new science and technology center inside Fundidora Park, a reclaimed 128 hectares brownfield site in a former  iron and steel smelting production facility from the 1900´s.
By its location and size, Horno3 -the last site's decommissioned blast furnace-  has been a city icon since the day it was built, and has emerged now as a new focal point for the region.

Water Efficiency

Landscape Architecture
Grimshaw Architects
Size: 128 hectares
Location: Monterrey, Mexico
Year: 2008
The Steel Museum is based on the recovery and reuse of the original structure of the iconic last standing steel foundry furnace no3 inside the Historical Fundidora Park.  The design involves industrial archeology,  and diverse sustainability strategies like the use of recycled steel materials found on site,  and stormwater harvesting and recycling. The parking lot wilsl become a forest with more than 1000 planted native trees. The planting strategy mixes lines of native perennial oaks (mountain ecosystem) with lines of native sycamore trees (river ecosystem), which will give the wooded parking space a unique character of changing color and foliage. The stadium park remains open during the week for public access, and it is connected to the river linear park pathway system. Digital art and video mapping are projected on the stadium south and north facades several nights a week as a cultural amenity for the city and visitors.
The design achieves a piece of “green infrastructure”, a “kidney” that captures and filters most of the rainwater on the site, treating and absorbing it or returning it to the river already clean. The formal organization of the parking lot is inspired by the transitional ecosystem between mountain and river, directing prevailing winds to the building and rainwater to the rain gardens, whose native tree species are particular to the place.

Celebrating Industrial Heritage in Parque Fundidora
The landscape design reflects the site's industrial heritage and celebrates its integration into the surrounding environment. The history of steel plays a key role throughout the site, with reclaimed steel extensively used to shape public plazas and define fountains and landscaped terraces.

Two water features are central to the design, defining the public space and the museum's entrance. In the main esplanade, steel plates from the exterior of the main hall have been transformed into a stepped canal. This 600-foot-long feature recalls the tracks that delivered raw materials to the furnace daily, serving as a visual link to the rain garden beyond.

At the museum entrance, the canal ends in a misting fountain, a grid of rocks visibly embedded with ore. This trompe l'oeil effect mimics the heating process once used to extract ore, generating a cooling mist that drifts over the plaza—an enjoyable surprise for visitors in Monterrey's hot and dry climate.

Stormwater Management and Restoration at
Museum of Steel

As part of the site's ecological restoration, stormwater runoff is managed through a series of on-site treatment runnels. These surround the exhibition areas, reinterpreting the former industrial canals that once transported steel production by-products. Aquatic plants and wetland macrophytes treat the stormwater before it enters an underground cistern, where it is stored for irrigation during the dry season.

Reshaping Monterrey's Landscape Through
Art and Ecology
Green roofs over the museum—the largest of their kind in Latin America—help minimize the visual impact of the new building. The existing furnace rises from this newly created ground plane. On the higher roof, drought-tolerant sedums are arranged to correspond to the new building's structural elements and are contained by a seemingly floating steel disk. A circular viewing deck allows visitors to admire the expansive landscape, including the distant Sierra Madres, reflected in the roof's mounded planting. Below, a meadow of tall grasses—an abstraction of the native landscape—connects to the pre-industrial context, functioning as bioremediation for degraded soil and providing thermal benefits for the new structure.

The museum chronicles the industrial history of this northern city, which for much of the 20th century was renowned for its steel production. Prior to its conversion to a museum, the abandoned blast furnace had stood as a poignant 80m high reminder of the hard working past of this city which has since moved on to embrace high-tech industries. The architectural challenge was to balance sensitive historic preservation against the requirement for a dynamic new symbol in its changed context, the surrounding steelworks having been converted recently into a public park. The new building needed to be inclusive and one that the older generations who worked at the former plant and their children and grandchildren would feel represented their proud history while looking forward to the future.

Related Projects


Any doubts or comments?
Want to apply for a position?

Fill in this form and our team will contact you!



José Clemente Orozco 329-piso 30, Valle Oriente, 66269 San Pedro Garza García, N.L.
+ 81 8378 4876