Iturbide Studio; Brick Award 2020 Category "Feeling at Home"; Architects: Taller Mauricio Rocha and Gabriela Carrillo, Photo:  Rafael Gamo
© Rafael Gamo

Perspective, perspective, perspective

Brick Award 20

Iturbide Studio; Brick Award 2020 Category "Feeling at Home"; Architects: Taller Mauricio Rocha and Gabriela Carrillo, Photo:  Rafael Gamo
© Rafael Gamo

Iturbide Studio

Feeling at home - Category Winner

Gewinner Kategorie „“Feeling at home”: Iturbide Studio
© Rafael Gamo

Used products

Clay bricks for solid and lattice walls

Perspective, perspective, perspective

The studio of Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide is a place that both produces and inspires art. When she tasked her son with designing it, the only stipulation was that it should be built of brick.  

Floors formed by rooms on top of each other

From the outside, it appears windowless and the monolithic brick construction rises like a tower, high above a carpet of low, neighbouring buildings. This very special project was carried out by Mauricio Rocha, the client’s son, and Gabriela Carrillo in Coyoacán, Mexico. The three-storey building is formed of a series of 28 m2rooms, layered on top of one another, with a courtyard on each of the north and south sides.

Hidden open space

A windowless façade. The studio’s extraordinary external appearance might leave an observer with a sense of oppression or being closed in. Because the rooms, internal courtyard, and the external façade appear dominated by clay bricks, the arrangement of which creates different patterns on the walls. In places, orderly openings provide a view to the outside; in other places, the wall is solid. 
 
The backing bricks, combined with the large windows and maple wood floors and ceilings, create a special atmosphere in the studio. This type of architecture – which appears monotonous at first glance but turns out, on closer inspection, to be very well thought out – emerged from the philosophy of the design team: ‘We want to take the local traditions and materials of the places where we work and apply them in a contemporary way – not with trendy shapes and fireworks, but with silence, space, and a sense of emptiness’. The building’s earthquake-resistant construction is another design feature inspired by the local area.  

‘We want to take the local traditions and materials of the places where we work and apply them in a contemporary way – not with trendy shapes and fireworks, but with silence, space, and a sense of emptiness.’ - TALLER Mauricio Rocha + Gabriela Carrillo.

Terraces with a view

The courtyards on opposite sides of the building are another unusual feature, revealing a certain charm as they open up within the internal walls. The bricks forming the outer courtyard walls have been laid in alternating horizontal and vertical courses, creating a rhythmic pattern of light and shade. The red bricks have been arranged in such a way that they allow daylight into the internal spaces, whilst casting shadows that protect against too much heat. 
 
Standing in one of the courtyards, a glance upwards reveals an interplay of light and shadow that creates different patterns depending on the time of day. There is a roof terrace at the top of the building, with views across the Niño Jesús district, with its colourful houses and tall trees. The Iturbide Studio therefore links the street and the ground with the city skyline. This harmonious interlinking of indoors and outdoors makes this project the deserved winner in the category ‘Feeling at home’.

Iturbide Studio; Brick Award 2020 Category "Feeling at Home"; Architects: Taller Mauricio Rocha and Gabriela Carrillo, Photo:  Rafael Gamo
© Rafael Gamo

Data & facts

Project name: Iturbide Studio, Mexico City, Mexico

Architecture   TALLER Mauricio Rocha + Gabriela Carrillo

Client   Graciela Iturbide

Year of completion   2016

Product used   Clay bricks for solid and lattice walls

Iturbide Studio; Brick Award 2020 Category "Feeling at Home"; Architects: Taller Mauricio Rocha and Gabriela Carrillo, Photo:  Rafael Gamo

Clay bricks for solid and lattice walls - Mexico

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