Horno 3 by Grimshaw



Grimshaw architects have converted a decommissioned blast furnace into a museum of steel in Monterrey, Mexico.


Called Horno 3: Museo del Acero, the project involved converting the 70-metre-high furnace structure and adding an extension to create 9,000 square metres of interior and exterior exhibition space.


"Grimshaw responded appropriately with new design elements that advance the limits of steel fabrication," claim the architects. The building, which opened late last year, includes a central, cantilevered, steel staircase and tessellated steel-plate roof.


Photographs by Paul Rivera.

The following information is from Grimshaw:


Horno 3
Monterrey, Mexico

In summer of 2005, Grimshaw was commissioned to design Horno 3: Museo del Acero (Museum of Steel) in and around Horno Alto #3, a decommissioned Blast Furnace from the late 60s. It marks a return for Grimshaw to the industrial city of Monterrey, in north-eastern Mexico. An earlier commission in 1997 first introduced the firm to Monterrey’s steel-making heritage and its hulking Fundidora blast furnaces, which punctuate the skyline above an old steelworks on the site of what is now a popular and verdant park.

This Parque Fundidora is a National Industrial Archeological Heritage Site and receives more than two million visitors per year. The Museum aims to complete in autumn 2007 when the city hosts the International Culture Forum.

The design converts the 70-metre-high furnace structure into a series of habitable volumes, adding 9,000 square metres of indoor and outdoor museum space.

Intended to host an exposition of steel, the museum is being created partially as an adaptive re-use of the furnace, its platforms, tanks and control rooms, and partially as a new extension adjacent to the existing complex. The extraction and processing methods of steel, its material properties and its everyday uses will be interactively demonstrated. A thrilling pyrotechnic “Furnace Show”, housed in the old Cast Hall, will bring the blast furnace itself to simulated life and allow visitors the unique experience of touring inside it.

Grimshaw responded appropriately with new design elements that advance the limits of steel fabrication. A tessellated steel plate roof over the circular Steel Gallery demonstrates how, with today’s computer-aided technology, sheet material can be transformed like an origami maquette into structurally rigid forms by complex faceting.

Similarly the design of a central helical steel stair relied on extensive computed stress analysis to allow the optimization of its coiled stringer and cantilevering treads to a daring tenuity.

Posted on Friday September 5th 2008 at 1:40 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • ongjunhao


  • emm

    these 3 pictures definetely look interesting! so definetely we would like to see some more!!

  • 60403020

    stair…makes me…wanna… agh ahh oh! time for cigaretto.

  • BIoz

    im from monterrey and i work for some time at this place ,
    first of all monterrey was an industrial city and we owe everything to the steel so , this place became an icon over the years , after beeing running 24/7 for so many yearss

    i dicided to work on this place because is incredeble , a great dezen it one of the main galery rooms has a green circular cover that resembels the Sun ,

    i could go on with this but pictures are much better ,
    here is a site


  • freedom

    not grim-esque at all.

  • Hola Blog

    As you can see, 3 times bigger than Central Park (9km2 vs 3.2km2), and just a 1/12 part of it´s visitors per year (2M vs 25M). In between an artificial lake for navigation, and corridors, and a gigantic plaza, and (about 10) museums for free, and events, and nice people.

    There is high security in this closed area park, and there´s also bunches of Couchsurfers in this city.

    There´s a joke about this city, goes like this…

    “Once upon the time, there was a home Brewery (Cervecería Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma), and as they needed glass for the bottles they made a Glass Company (Vitro), still needed steel for the corks of the bottles so they made a Steel Company (Hylsa-Imsa), but there was plenty of beer so they founded some Universities (ITESM, UdeM, and others).”

  • atomant

    woah, it looks like that spider machine from the wild wild west movie!!

  • Linnea

    The panels, which look like jewelry, together with the classic farmhouse shape and the industrial building makes beauty in the mix.

  • monsieur!

    really cool!

  • jd

    It is an amazing building and an amazing park, im a student from Monterrey and love going to fundidora for concerts, museums, and even car racing. Last year Monterrey together with UNESCO organized the Universal Forum of the Cultures which called for all this improvements to the park as well as new buildings like Horno3. I’m sure than in a couple of years it will match up to Central Park’s visitors, just give it time, i repeat, this mayor improvements were done last year.

    And the Monterrey joke was not funny at all, all the companies you mentioned are very succesful worldwide, and there’s even more like CEMEX. My university ITESM is as well an incredible education institution.

  • One

    Grimshaw! He is not a pop star at all, but hey this is good.

  • bizzeb

    this responce to the commision is not the one i would choose.

    but, my god, its good. The different applications of steel, tesselated, uniform and seamless, prefabricated as a whole are quite articulated and interesting.

    my only critisism from seeing only these three images would be that that the compostition in the interior image seems slightly undeveloped.

    nice work!

  • Avinash

    Hey pls google images for “pompidou” A musuem in paris looks like an Factory

  • Antonio

    Look…this is juts amazing…
    im from Monterrey…and…somo of my teachers…friend of mine of course…
    made de restoration of the instalations of steel and stuff…it is really impressive…the landscape design to…and every piece of steel you see on that triangular deck…is recycled from the ancient fabriek that was there…
    so its just great…