Compiled by Team IAnD
Photography: Rafael Gamo; courtesy Arqmov Workshop
Read Time: 2 min
While one school of thought says “out with the old and in with the new”; Arquitectura en Movimiento Workshop’s refurbishment of this apartment in Polanco, Mexico City advocates stripping open the old and rejoicing in it by combining it with the new!
Having started with the idea that interior design should faithfully reflect the user's lifestyle, they have recently adapted an elderly lady's apartment to suit the requirements of its heir, a young, single graphic designer.
Starting with stripping the apartment of its existing baggage, they did away with old carpets, wall finishes and drop ceilings. To the homeowner’s delight, they uncovered perfectly polished concrete floors, which were sealed and left exposed in the common areas; an exposed existing waffle slab ceiling that added 30 cm to the height of the rooms, plus the depth of the coffers themselves; and adding to this visible electrical wiring as a characteristic complement has visibly transformed the apartment into a new space at the onset.
Efficient re-distribution of space has old service areas turn into new bathrooms, a breakfast nook and storage space. A polycarbonate-roofed conservatory has been built in an unused, dusty room; and an extra bedroom and an open kitchen complete the program.
The recycling of construction materials has been of paramount importance for this project, and several different strategies were developed to effect this. Discarded materials wooden floorboards and planks of varying widths from demolition sites and auctions have been used to cater to a raw aesthetic in the flooring.
Intrinsic visual contrasts weave together modern, colourful elements like, synthetic materials such as aubergine-purple polyester of the kitchen cabinetry with recycled timber beam of the breakfast bench and the metallic tube in the style of a bus stop, which forms the seating; or the table design that uses a steel base with a tabletop made from planks recycled from construction props; even grey block-work juxtaposed with a colourful mural and the like.
Augmenting the contrasts, are proprietary products: Veracruz marble, Thasos stone, Byzantine glass and granite and polyester finishes; Quasar luminaries etc. These particular details complemented by dimmable lights in each room create a variety of space types that suit studio living and can be re-adapted to conventional standards should the homeowner decide to sell the property.