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 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.
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.