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Stunning apartment building elevates concrete

Light, plants, and earth tones create a luxurious, cozy home

Exterior of concrete apartment complex with rectangular windows. Joe Fletcher

There’s something about a Mexican concrete house that does it for us every single time. This new apartment building in Mexico City’s posh Polanco neighborhood is no exception. Designed by Tucson, Arizona, firm Studio Rick Joy and Mexico City studio FRB Arquitectos Asociados, the five-story building is built from cast-in-place concrete.

The structures houses two two-story apartments, both of which take on a soft, moody glow thanks to the warm light the pouring through the windows onto the stratified layers of concrete. To get the rough around the edges layered effect, builders imprinted a timber board into the wet concrete.

Bright living room with light gray walls and cream furniture. Joe Fletcher

The building facade features large rectangular cut-outs that let lots of light onto a covered timber terrace. Plenty of plants are nestled into nooks throughout, especially around the three light wells in the building, giving the space the lush and protected feel of a tropical hideaway.

Inside, the apartments embrace similar earth tones with oak wood floors, brass finishes, and a timber ceiling.

“The [project] uses a restrained material palette informed by local building traditions to produce a sense of deep warmth and experiential softness,” the studio writes in a design statement. It’s a classy move—the apartments feel homey yet luxe, spacious yet cozy all at the same time.

Bedroom with a large gridded window, fireplace, and bed with gray sheets. Joe Fletcher
Dining area with light gray walls and a large wall of glass. Joe Fletcher
Bedroom with timber bed and large, steel-framed windows Joe Fletcher
Covered timber deck Joe Fletcher
Interior courtyard of building Joe Fletcher