Mexico City is one of the world’s most crowded capitals, with architects forever challenged to make the most from a small footprint.
One such success story is Rodin 33, an apartment building from architect Carlos Marín, which cleverly uses concrete, glass and timber in perfect harmony.
Located in the prized, family-friendly Nápoles neighbourhood, this slimline building comprises nine apartments, each taking up its own level.
Maximising the size and shape of the land, just 7.8metres wide, the angle of the facade results in a full-width outdoor balcony space that’s wedge-shaped.
Extensive use of bare concrete, both structurally and aesthetically, defines the urban appeal of the project. But whilst concrete is a modernist material to leave exposed, here the fluctuation in colour and tone of the concrete creates a more natural effect.
Marín, from Architectural practice HAUSm2, opted for ‘board-formed’ concrete which retains the textured grain of the wood used to set it. This is used to great effect throughout these apartments, and helps form a complete synergy with the timber elements such as the balcony decking.
The apartments themselves also benefit from the warmth added from a timer floor, but Marin has often for a lighter treatment to the timber here, ensuring the interiors remain light.
This contemporary pairing of concrete and wood is also evident in the building’s lobby, with that same wood featuring as a detail in the roof.
On such a slim lot, ensuring natural light reaches every room in an apartment can prove tricky. Marín solved this by using a simple vertical void in two key positions to allow light through to the elegantly glazed internal spaces.
With a calm, clean appearance that fits perfectly into the similarly calm streets of Nápoles, there’s a lot to like about Rodin 33’s simple, honest approach to materials.
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