A Lush Retreat With a Sheltered Rooftop Pool in Mexico City

Add to
Like
Comment
Share
By Robert Landon / Published by Dwell
A designer carves out a domestic oasis in Mexico City.

To most eyes, Ezequiel Farca’s 1970s-style concrete home in Mexico City looked like a teardown. Even the lot itself—shallow and crammed against a steep hillside—wasn’t particularly alluring. But Farca saw through all the restraints to create a spa-like refuge in one of the world’s most energetic cities. "It’s is such a hectic place. You’re bombarded by so much information the moment you step into the streets," says Farca, who first gained prominence as a furniture and interior designer. "So we envisioned this house as a retreat, a kind of a temple." 

Recinto lava stone lines a patio adjacent to the living room in designer Ezequiel Farca’s house in Mexico City. He designed the teak outdoor furniture, including two arm-chairs.

Recinto lava stone lines a patio adjacent to the living room in designer Ezequiel Farca’s house in Mexico City. He designed the teak outdoor furniture, including two arm-chairs.

In many ways, his redesign of the massive structure, which sits in the city’s hilly Lomas de Chapultepec neighborhood, is an elaborate disappearing act. The white exterior is painted a neutral gray-green, helping it recede into its setting. Attention-grabbing balustrades were stripped away, and strategic plantings were allowed to creep over the façade, softening boundaries between house, garden, and street. Finally, Farca and team stripped the interior back to the posts.

In the sitting area, two leather Paulistano chairs by Paulo Mendes da Rocha top a rug by Yerra; the wall paint is Comex.

In the sitting area, two leather Paulistano chairs by Paulo Mendes da Rocha top a rug by Yerra; the wall paint is Comex.

Then Farca set about transforming an inelegant warren of rooms into a series of bright, interconnected spaces. The first floor became a single room encompassing the kitchen, dining area, and living room. To merge the plant-filled terrace with the living room, an awkward series of windows gave way to a single wall of glass. 

Farca furnished the living room with a Serge Mouille three-arm floor lamp, custom sofas from EF Collection, and Surface tables by Vincent Van Duysen for B&B Italia.

Farca furnished the living room with a Serge Mouille three-arm floor lamp, custom sofas from EF Collection, and Surface tables by Vincent Van Duysen for B&B Italia.

Farca, who is the father of four children, including 11-year-old triplets, devoted much of the square footage to the youngsters. Relatively small bedrooms are pushed to the edge, and the middle floor includes a large, flexible space that Farca calls the "playground," though it can easily be converted to other uses as the triplets hit adolescence.  

Oak veneer lines the stairwell in between the master bedroom and the children’s wing.

Oak veneer lines the stairwell in between the master bedroom and the children’s wing.

While the structural interventions were very modest, Farca completely re-skinned the interior in a rich variety of natural materials. Marble lines the kitchens and bathrooms. Interior floors are planked in European oak with a natural finish, while a smokier veneer covers select walls. And the terraces are tiled with recinto, a locally sourced volcanic stone. The variety breaks up the building’s mass, says Farca. Natural textures and a warm, neutral palette help turn the bunker-like structure into a series of welcoming spaces. 

Chairs in the second-floor playroom are by Lievore Altherr Molina for Andreu World. Oak sliding doors can close off the playroom to minimize din.

Chairs in the second-floor playroom are by Lievore Altherr Molina for Andreu World. Oak sliding doors can close off the playroom to minimize din.

However, Farca’s most transformative work was reserved for the top floor, which includes a pool, an indoor-outdoor dining space, and a master suite. When the enormous glass doors disappear into pocket walls, the whole floor becomes what he calls "our idea of the perfect hotel suite." 

The rooftop courtyard is lined with a verdant mix of indigenous plants, including banana trees, palm trees, lion’s claw, Mexican breadfruit, and native vines. The chaise longues were designed for Farca’s EF Collection.

The rooftop courtyard is lined with a verdant mix of indigenous plants, including banana trees, palm trees, lion’s claw, Mexican breadfruit, and native vines. The chaise longues were designed for Farca’s EF Collection.

"The minute you leave your home in Mexico City, you’re in the middle of the rush," says Farca. "Now we cross the threshold and feel we’ve left the city far behind."

The striking master bath is lined from floor to walls in silvery gray marble.

The striking master bath is lined from floor to walls in silvery gray marble.

An Almond bathtub by Porcelanosa is accented by a tub filler from Hansgrohe.

An Almond bathtub by Porcelanosa is accented by a tub filler from Hansgrohe.

The master bedroom, painted in Whisper by Comex, sports a bed that Farca custom-designed as part of his EF Collection.

The master bedroom, painted in Whisper by Comex, sports a bed that Farca custom-designed as part of his EF Collection.

Farca also designed the custom millwork throughout the house, such as the swinging door leading into the dining room. The leather Siren dining chairs are by Holly Hunt.

Farca also designed the custom millwork throughout the house, such as the swinging door leading into the dining room. The leather Siren dining chairs are by Holly Hunt.

Solid European oak flooring by DuChateau runs throughout the home. The sculpture is by Jorge Yázpik.

Solid European oak flooring by DuChateau runs throughout the home. The sculpture is by Jorge Yázpik.

A window in another bedroom overlooks protected woodland.

A window in another bedroom overlooks protected woodland.

In the dining room, antique wooden busts and a machiche cross designed by Farca are arranged on a resin countertop by Monica Calderon. The bar conceals a service area with an espresso machine.

In the dining room, antique wooden busts and a machiche cross designed by Farca are arranged on a resin countertop by Monica Calderon. The bar conceals a service area with an espresso machine.

Add a caption