© Jaime Navarro
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A home is an intimate space that surpass its limitations as mere real estate. Such was the case in Santa Fe, Mexico City, where architect Alejandro de la Vega Zulueta was instructed to administer his attention to detail to the interior design of a high-rise apartment. The urban district of Santa Fe contains Mexico City’s greatest concentration of residential and corporate high-rises, with an aesthetic concept that has been given justly to both. However, the residential complex of Antigua, situated in one of the district’s hills, is an anomaly to that rule, with ample green spaces and walking trails, and its use of terracotta and ochre, against backdrops of blue and ‘Mexican pink’. This encounter of elements is relevant when putting Santa Fe into context as a district giving the possibility to build a new concept, and a new architectural language, for Mexico City.
Designed and built by Ricardo Legorreta in the 1990s, Antigua offers the dual commitment of both a residential and a commercial area, with an extraordinary fusion of urban vibe and suburban quality of life. These contrasts extend from the complex’s lush gardens to the building’s fuchsia-walled hallways, offering a warm welcome while also highlighting the space. Continuing into the building, textures, colours, and furnishings add a warm ambiance, reminiscent of a Nordic-style home.
In addressing the residential space, Alejandro de la Vega Zulueta concentrated on three principal materials, consisting of marble, brushed black granite, and oak wood. The design respects each material in its almost raw appearance, with all of the pieces in synchrony, including a grid of granite tiles on the bathroom floor that matches the marble on the walls, both in size and in layout. The central spaces of the residence have a lounge, a dining room, and a kitchen, each accentuated by its choice of furnishings and art, all designed and built by de la Vega Zulueta. The furniture varies from relatively simple pieces, including a dining room table and a pair of dressers, to a custom-built kitchen island, a wood and leather chaise longue, and shelving with adaptable modular units. On the walls, de la Vega Zulueta’s parametric art comes to life in eminence, including a white concrete sculpture mounted on a grey granite wall, raised to produce contrasts in lighting and shadows. A variation of the artist’s Warrior sculpture, a 9-degree manipulation gives new perception to the piece, which resembles two lovers. In keeping with the artist’s philosophy of marrying art and architecture, adjustments in shaping, manipulations of light, and the formation of angles all contribute to an aesthetic harmony between the sculpture and the space that it occupies.