Refined, brutalist rigour – Mexico

Named after the street in Polanco where it’s located, Tennyson 205 is a five-storey apartment building in one of Mexico City’s most upscale and leafy neighbourhoods. Designed by Tucson-based architects Studio Rick Joy the project imbues a sculptural refined, brutalist rigour that sets it apart among the area’s mix of modern architecture and Spanish colonial revival buildings.
Hemmed in on three sides, the two-unit residence features three landscaped courtyards that also function as light wells, drawing daylight into the lower levels of the building while softening the minimalist interiors with lush foliage.
Housing a pair of two-storey apartments above a ground floor garage, the building is made with reinforced, cast-in-place concrete, ideal for earthquake-prone Mexico City, which has been board-formed to create a textural pattern of horizontal stripes. Featuring sharp angles and slim-profiled, bespoke casement windows of different sizes – which have been designed to frame particular views from the monumental 1940s San Agustín parish church to the neighbouring tree top.
The limited materials palette continues inside with board-formed concrete dominating both the apartment interiors and the semi-enclosed spaces piercing the building, while a variety of floor-recessed planters, planting boxes built into shaft walls, and suspended baskets with hanging vines fill the light wells with lush greenery, softening the exposed concrete structure. Both apartments share a minimalist aesthetic of contemporary sophistication and subdued luxuriance.


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