location: Mexico City, United Mexican States | architecture: Ezequiel Farca + Cristina Grappin | interior design: Ezequiel Farca + Cristina Grappin | photography: Jaime Navarro
EF + CG have offices in Los Angeles, Milan and Mexico City with over 30 interdisciplinary employees. This is a renovation project where the original structure had existed for 25 years. As it evolved, the architects ended up demolishing almost 80 percent of the old house and focused on creating holistic spaces through an intricate approach to each part of the whole. The studio specialises in product and interior design, and architecture.
Drawing inspiration from their Mexican heritage, the firm collaborates with traditional artisans to create a palette of natural materials that are at once timeless and universal. Comfort and warmth are present in each of the projects they design. Notable among these are a lifestyle theatre complex in San Diego, a Mezcal bar located in a landmark building in Oaxaca and a luxury yacht for Benetti. The firm has completed over 80 residential and commercial projects to date.
With a beautiful Magnolia tree at the exterior entrance, this residence spans 766 square metres under roof. Says architect Ezequiel Farca: ‘There was a need to rearrange spaces, improve spatial flow and create views and vistas, while increasing the amplitude and generating a connection between interior and exterior.’
Architect Farca adds that this was achieved through the creation of three travertine blocks as the key design language. Social areas on the ground floor were opened to exteriors and the blocks of travertine are connected through a volume that marks the residence’s central axis and creates a double-height space, full of natural light. The three major materials used in the renovation were wood, marble and Veracruz travertine, which is fine Mexican marble from the Gulf of Mexico.
He continues: ‘New recreational areas within were created and, knowing the importance of the artworks to be included, we gave significance to these in the design process by using scale; plus, natural and artificial lightning, which is all controlled by Lutron with Creston.
‘We used the existing tree mass on the site to filter the light in areas that are too exposed to the sun and the result is that views in the reception areas are open to this greenery,’ says Ezequiel Farca, ‘And we managed to create a measure of comfort with the use of wood on walls, ceilings and furniture. This contrasts with the smooth surfaces of the horizontal work areas and marble fixtures.
‘This project took three years to complete and the challenges faced and overcome during the renovation were mainly structural, involving the opening up of both sides of the living room. We particularly enjoyed the fact that light causes the spaces to change. The interior is full of light and shadow contrasts that alter during the day, creating different atmospheres for the users. The clients loved the connection between the interiors and exteriors in the social areas.’
The architects were able to fully open up the home without compromising on privacy. The three bedrooms were located on the upper level, which is continuous and narrow, while the three bathrooms were placed strategically, enjoying large openings, but still creating an intimate atmosphere.
Because of its height above sea level, Mexico City enjoys climates that range from mild to humid and cold, with Alpine Tundra in the highest parts of the southern mountains. From the outset, this house was meant to feel like a weekend home, where the interior and exterior are used regularly since the weather is fairly consistent throughout the year.
Ezequiel Farca + Cristina Grappin’s experience in the design of a wide range of scales and typologies allows for a comprehensive approach to each project they take on. From yacht design to small and large hospitality and residential spaces, EF + CG simultaneously explore all scales and functions to ensure users will enjoy a coherent, integrated and effortlessly inhabitable spatial experience.