Mexico City is a historical setting with an enormous cultural and architectural heritage protected in its magical neighborhoods. Tacuba is one of them, located northwest to the downtown, this neighborhood has undergone social and urban transformations that have lasted to this day and where vestiges forged at different times can be found.
At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, Tacuba became one of the wealthiest areas of the city with large country houses, which over time and different political changes were abandoned and many were collapsed. However, among these vestiges the house of “Mar Mediterraneo 34” remained.
Built in 1910 through an eclectic French style belonging to the Porfiriato era, it currently holds historical value by the National Institute of Fine Arts and the National Institute of Anthropology and History. The project started with the idea of giving a new life to a house designed in two volumes, where the first incorporates the main facade while the second has a view to the main patio, although both were in advanced deterioration and the second volume was in ruins.
Based on these characteristics, the restoration and intervention of the original elements of the era are implemented, where the spaces are regenerated with a new materiality, and the multiple artistic and artisanal elements are recovered from the main facade such as the carved quarry from the balconies and lintels, the iron railings, the large windows and the glass roof tiles, intending to rehabilitate the new urban image. The interior is reconstructed as a reinterpretation of the past through a contemporary perspective, where a volume is raised up framing the sky in the existing main patio and portrays the arrangement of the old portals as a sequence of light and shadow, this is how these openings rise intermittently from the ground floor in double height and become a solid element of introspective architecture.
The project intends to fusion what prevails and what is reborn through a linear connection between two eras, this connection is also reflected at the entrance by a volcanic stone baseboard which surrounds the entire ground floor and functions as the foundation to lift what has resurfaced. The restored house has 3 levels and 7 apartments that adapt to different flexible spaces (Loft, studio, familiar apartment and penthouse), which interact by views to the historical elements in the main patio and two additional courtyards of lesser proportion with a tree surrounded by a set of lattices that allow the entrance of natural light keeping an autochthonous essence.
Each apartment acknowledges a different way of living, each of them configure a unique personal place. In the contemporary and complex world, the project tries to answer to the idea of how people should live outside the standard idea of housing related to traditional nuclear families. These multifunctional spaces can be adapted by their inhabitants, their flexibility allows them to create different atmospheres without compromising their privacy: to live, to rest, to work, to have dinner with friends. As a reaction to an over connected world, the project creates spaces of solitude and contemplation. The use of the natural light, with a traditional lattice, allows us to mitigate and diffuse it, in order to reach an aesthetic of isolation.
Consequently, The goal of the intervention is to generate a legacy that encourages the transformation of Tacuba to enhance and rescue its heritage value, by taking advantage of ruined spaces in a sustainable way to give life to the magical neighborhood.
Architect graduated from the Universidad Nacional Experimental del Táchira (UNET) in Venezuela. He has worked on different independent housing and cultural development projects in his native country. In 2015 he moved to Mexico where he had the opportunity to work with world-renowned architects such as Tadao Ando (Pritzker, 1995) and Álvaro Siza (Pritzker, 1992) in projects for Casa Wabi's Foundation in Oaxaca and New real estate and restoration developments in Mexico City. Currently he has started his own firm Inca Hernández Arquitectura where he develops research, art direction and architecture projects in Mexico, Venezuela, Italy and Colombia.
He has been awarded with Gold Trophy at the 2020 MUSE Design Awards in the Renovation category, First Place Winner at the 2020 Peninsula Awards by the Association of Architects and Interior Designers in Mexico and the Honorable Mention in the prestigious Architecture MasterPrize 2020.
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