The refurbishment of the Hegel Street apartment in Polanco, Mexico City, started with the idea that interior design should faithfully reflect the user's lifestyle. In this way, an elderly lady's apartment was adapted to suit the requirements of its heir, a young, single graphic designer, the client of this project.
The removal of old carpets, wall finishes and drop ceilings uncovered perfectly polished concrete floors, which were sealed and left exposed in the common areas. Similarly, the exposure of the existing waffle slab added 30 cm to the height of the rooms, plus the depth of the coffers themselves. This slab was prepared so as to remain exposed, and the new electrical wiring was left visible on the underside of the concrete grid.
Efficient re-distribution of the space through carefully planned design turned a traditional apartment into a functional studio/living space. Old service areas were converted into new bathrooms, a breakfast nook and storage space. A polycarbonate-roofed conservatory was built in what it had been an unused, dusty room prior to the refurbishment. An extra bedroom and an open kitchen complete the programme.
The recycling of construction materials was of paramount importance for this project, and we developed several different strategies to effect this. We collected discarded materials from demolition sites; for instance, wooden floorboards were selected from an old building in the Colonia Condesa, painted with different colours and used to dress columns whose condition required a new finish.
For the wooden floors of the main bedroom we purchased at auction three batches of planks of different widths, which we cut to make a tongue and groove floor of our own design. It is a premium quality wood that creates a contrast with the raw finishes of the slab and the block walls and matches a separate piece of wooden furniture.
Visual constrasts were intrinsic to our concept and helped us combine modern, colourful elements. For instance, synthetic materials such as aubergine-purple polyester for the kitchen cabinetry sit alongside the raw materials used in the breakfast bench (a recycled timber beam) and the metallic tube in the style of a bus stop which forms the seating.
Our proposal for the breakfast nook was an enclosure of grey blockwork - a stark contrast with the colourful mural. The table design uses a steel base with a tabletop made from planks recycled from construction props.
The kitchen and bathrooms have been fitted with proprietory products: Veracruz marble, Thassos stone, Bizantine glass and granite and polyester finishes. The lighting designs utilised Quasar luminaries (from Prisma). We designed and custom-made metal wall lamps for the breakfast area and fitted them with Bulbrite bulbs. These particular details plus the possibility of diming the light in each room create a variety of space types.
The project succeeds in finding a solution to our client's brief: I want a place where I can live and enjoy my lifestyle, a space that can revert to a conventional apartment should I ever want to sell it.
Our professional activity encompasses architecture, interior design and so-called 'turnkey projects', which allow clients to enjoy their new home immediately after completion. We act as a planner, in that we organise aspects of the investment scheme such as finding the ideal site, planning for common areas, designing retail and living spaces, as well as carrying out market studies and finding the right investors. We also undertake furniture design and manufacture. For us, the most important aspect of the project is to resolve each of the client's requirements on a one-by-one basis, in such a way that each design is tailored to a particular client. We are a dynamic, ambitious practice with 18 years' experience in various kinds of developments, including housing complexes, luxury apartments, commercial buildings, office spaces, leisure venues and hotels. We focus on service, sustainability, high living standards, ergonomics, creativity and originality.