For the 11th Design House Mexico in Mexico City, 24 architecture and design firms came together to transform a run-down functionalist-style villa from the 1940s to a contemporary design destination displaying the latest interior trends from Latin America and Mexico.
The long-abandoned three-story building with a large garden in Mexico City’s Lomas de Chapultepec neighborhood was a perfect plain canvas for the creative community to showcase their best work. The renovation upgraded the vast residence through a display of avant-garde design concepts that had a strong focus on sustainability and ecology.
Under the organization of Design Week Mexico founders Mexico Territorio Creativo (MXTC), leading architecture and interior design firms collaborated with manufacturers and suppliers, including Kohler Company as the main plumbing sponsor, to create a fresh, surprising space for visitors to see furniture, decorations and artwork in a home environment. The Design House Mexico also provided a lively event space for the duration of the Design Week Mexico.
Taking a walk through the large house sparked a firework of inspiration and provided opportunities to see new and astonishing creative ideas.
The home’s exterior established the house as a gallery of the latest in design, with the Dulux Color of the Year 2020 “Tranquil Dawn”, a cool-tone shade of green, adorning the facade.
C Cúbica Arquitectos reimagined the central space on the ground floor with a minimalist marble pit in the center and a large rectangular overhead light, creating an inviting space for greeting and gathering.
After strolling through the luminous living room, designed by Lorena Vieyra of Vieyra Arquitectos in collaboration with the Italian brand Cassina, visitors were invited to browse the library.
The botanical library created by Veronica Gonzales of VGZ Arquitectura came to life with the help of the team from the botanical garden UNAM and their biologist Jeronimo Reyes. It displayed 42 species of native Mexican plants. The shelves and beams built with certified wood added natural elements to the space and made it an engaging environment to explore. The varieties of succulents and dahlias from the Mexican valley adorning the shelves dared observers to linger.
A spiral staircase led up to the first floor where a sitting room and bathroom were the first focal points.
Show-stopping sitting room
The reimagined sitting room with spiky chandeliers by Studio KAST and Studio Panebianco mimicked a reception salon at an upscale fashion boutique. Erica Krayer of UribeKrayer, who collaborated with the studio, designed a conceptual space to reflect people’s consumption habits and to raise awareness of carelessly discarded products that contaminate our surroundings.
The studio also partnered with Thierry Jeannot who designed the glittery, dynamic lamps with recycled PET materials. Each lamp in the mauve-painted room required two people and more than three weeks to create, which entailed selecting materials, washing and disinfecting them, and finally transforming them into designs.
Off to the side of the sitting room in the en suite bathroom, one of the chandeliers cast elegant, luxurious light onto the KOHLER® Abrazo freestanding bath and the Loure™ faucet in Vibrant™ Polished Nickel, creating a pleasing atmosphere.
Contained spa-like space
The bathroom concept by Lucia Soto and Andrea Flores of Comité de Proyectos aimed to engulf design enthusiasts with stillness, tranquility and pause. The designers chose materials and a color palette that mirrored the quiet theme in the cupboard-sized room.
An oval vanity made from terrazzo material that continues to trend all over the world served as the basis for a KOHLER Inscribe™ sink paired with a Components™ faucet that accentuated the harmonious design concept. The colored walls were finished with ancient local limestone and Chukum tree resin stuccos.
The vanity and rounded mirrors were designed by the duo whereas other elements in the room were a collaboration of Blu Dot and Mob. The clay and ceramic works were provided by local artisans including Perla Valtierra. The lights reflected on the terracotta-colored tiles bathed the room in a soft atmosphere.
Dual Material bedroom
Probably the most intriguing room in this year’s design house was the bedroom on the first floor. It was designed with office furniture by the Swiss firm USM Modular Furniture. Beatriz Peschard of Bernardi + Peschard Arquitectura placed chrome bars in a way to starkly contrast the dark-brown, earthen walls that were covered with recycled, discarded materials from the home renovation. These included enameled enclosures, debris of soffits, packaging cardboard, pallets, rods and wooden planks creating an uneven, but interesting backdrop. The room theme of “resilience” played on visitors’ feelings of confusion ignited by the unexpected use of materials. The longer one lingered in the space, the more the balance and delicate harmony of the material mix became apparent.
The adjoining terrace with wooden sculptures and a seating area allowed for a break. The outdoor space created by Olga Hanono combined with the favorable weather conditions in Mexico allowed for indoor and outdoor spaces to almost merge.
Experimental drinks served on green
On the second floor, Raul de la Cerda of Raul de la Cerda Studio decorated a windowless room as a gin bar. The image of an inner courtyard with orange walls brought this experimental space to life. The decor was reminiscent of bars from the time of the Lost Generation of American writers in the 1920s such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Henry Miller. The clever lighting concept and placement of plants supplied by Polen Atelier de Flores amplified the atmosphere to create a strong sensory experience.
For a relaxed, laid-back time and views of the neighborhood, visitors headed up to the rooftop patio designed by VA Studio, Legorreta & Alonso Arquitectos. The outdoor space was complete with couches, a dining area and two bars. The simple design and the Iron/Tones™ sink paired with the Sensate™ faucet in Matte Black finish elevated the space.
Minimal artist’s hideaway
The entrance, bedroom and living room on the third-floor space transported people to an artist’s lair. Oversized wooden screws and pegs protruded from the teal walls to form an art piece in this masculine space designed by GG Arquitectura and MarqCo’s Covadonga Herandez. The space combined minimalist and brutalist design styles using wood, metal and a mix of functional and artistic approaches as well as miniature and large-format sketches. The design concept continued into the bathroom space where the luxury of the KOHLER Real Rain™ shower completed the picture. Some of the artwork was on loan from the Fundación Jumex Arte Contemporáneo. The rooftop patio provided another connection of the outdoors with the indoors. The artwork displayed there included creations by César López Negrete and Aldo Chaparro.
Moody introspection space
FOAM presented “introspection” as a room concept with stark grey walls and free-form furniture in dark blue and black. The experiential room of Alejandro Grande and Omar Ramos reflected their vision of a sensory space enhanced by a gold-rimmed mirror, succulent plants and a minimalist light installation. The calm, relaxing atmosphere was enhanced with the use of obsidian, a dark, glass-like volcanic rock as the pièce de résistance in the center as well as a pensive audio track and the custom-made home fragrance Lava.
Reaching for the sky bathroom
Finally, the outdoor pavilion with a leaning mirror backdrop highlighted the KOHLER Sunstruck™ freestanding bath. It was matched with a Purist™ floor-mount bath filler in Vibrant Rose Gold finish. Vertebral created an open-air bathroom as “an almost spiritual site” as described by architect Elias Kalach. Following Kohler’s Perspective of the Year “Experiential Luxury” the space brimmed with lights, natural elements and calmness. Elias concluded, “Luxury in the 21st century is to have access to nature, tranquility and contemplation.”
Kohler collaborated with the architects and designers at the Design House Mexico to create seven bathrooms, two kitchens and the exclusive outdoor pavilion and enjoyed working with the following architects and designers: Andrea Ortega of Ducolab, Marqco, Olga Hanono, Comité de Proyectos, AdHoc, Jorge Mustri, GG Arquitectura, VA Studio and Serrano Monjaraz.
The Design House Mexico was open to the public from October 3 to October 27, 2019.
Source: photos are courtesy of Design Week Mexico, Jaime Navarro, Alfonso de Bejar and Kohler Company.