This Rick Joy–Designed Apartment in Mexico City Is Filled With Light and Greenery
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This Rick Joy–Designed Apartment in Mexico City Is Filled With Light and Greenery

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By Jennifer Baum Lagdameo
Outdoor spaces, natural light, and greenery abound in this urban infill project.

Studio Rick Joy’s latest project, a five-story apartment building with two separate units, is set on a quiet street in the thriving, upscale neighborhood of Polanco, in the heart of Mexico City. It’s a departure from the firm’s usual work—the Tucson-based studio tends towards poetically minimalist homes surrounded by sweeping natural landscapes. In Tennyson 205, the firm successfully instills a sense of place and greenery within an infill project set in a bustling city.

The five-story apartment building is an urban infill project in the upscale Mexico City neighborhood of Polanco. 

A variety of planters, boxes, and hanging vines add greenery and softness to the exposed concrete structure.


The structure is surrounded by buildings on three sides and open to the city at its west facade, and it features a restrained material palette informed by local building traditions. The board-formed concrete facade is defined by sprouting greenery and sharp angles that catch the light. This design language continues inside, where three plant-filled light wells create a lush inner landscape while ensuring that daylight reaches the lower levels of the structure.

At street level, a blackened steel gate, detailed with brass inserts, leads into the courtyard, which is illuminated from the light wells above.

A large glass door on the ground floor opens to the greenery-filled light well.

The cast-in-place board-formed concrete plays against the warm wood-paneled ceilings and hardwood floors. It also helps to make the structure earthquake resistant. Blackened steel elements add a chic, industrial touch—from the street-level gate (which leads to a shared courtyard filled with foliage) to the slim, custom-made casement windows used throughout the apartment. Scroll ahead for a look inside the light-filled interiors.

This living room features a custom sofa and leather, brass, and hardwood armchairs by Atra Form. A cluster of coffee tables includes the Paloma painted steel coffee table designed by Pedro Ramirez Vazquez, a custom brushed brass side table by Atra Form, and the Telugu Suar stained wood side table by NAMUH.

The slim-profile, custom casement windows are set in a traditional square-frame grid.

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Each light well introduces landscape elements in different ways. Here, vines sprout from baskets and ropes are threaded with local stones.

The living room transitions into the dining room, which looks out onto another light well.

Staggered, built-in planters infuse a light well with greenery.

The walnut dining table and custom solid oak chairs are by Atra Form. The juxtaposition of rustic board-formed concrete with luxe furnishings gives depth to the interiors.

Two brassy pieces by Fervor—Sol Interior (the whole circle), and Sol Naciente (the half-circle)—serve to brighten the hallway. 

The kitchen is tight, but vertical cabinetry provides plenty of storage space. 

A stairway plays with light and form. 

Gold leaf adorns the wall over the fireplace in the master bedroom. 

An angled window in the master bedroom. 

The master bathroom features an American Standard Coastal Serin freestanding tub and a  Viabizzuno Cubo Doccia shower head.

The second bedroom has a bespoke, built-in bed by Altra Form. 

The vanities and bathroom walls are made from locally sourced travertine slabs.

The children’s room overlooks the light well with planters.

The upper penthouse provides stunning city views from a terrace that extends off the living room.

The rooftop deck features Tezontle Studio’s sculpture Torso Volcanico.

The view of the nearby Parroquia de San Agustín and the dense urban skyline.

More from Studio Rick Joy:

A Rick Joy–Designed Caribbean Retreat Encourages an Easy-Breezy State of Mind 

A Minimalist, Rick Joy–Designed Farmhouse in Vermont Asks $9.25M

Project Credits: 

Architect:  Studio Rick Joy / @rrrrickjoy, Rick Joy

Local Architect of Record: FRB Arquitectos Asociados

Interior Design: Studio Rick Joy, Rick Joy, Natalia Zieman Hayes

Builder/General Contractor: P&G (Rodolfo Padilla and Gilberto Gomez)

Structural Engineer: Rodolfo Padilla

Landscape and garden design: Entorno Taller de Paisaje

Lighting Design: CLL Concept Lighting Lab LLC, Claudia Kappl Joy

Cabinetry: Montealban, Liliana A. Matadamas

Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing: IESH InstalacionesIT / IT/Security: Jorge Walls 

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