“MM34 | Mar Mediterráneo 34” is an historical building with an ecletic French vibe built in 1910 in Mexico City and now restored by Inca Hernández.
Mexico City is the capital and largest city of Mexico and the most-populous city in North America. It’s a historical setting with an enormous cultural and architectural heritage, comprehending prehispanic, classic, modern and contemporary architectures, protected in its magical neighborhoods. Tacuba is one of them, located northwest to the downtown, this neighborhood has undergone social and urban transformations that have lasted to this day and where vestiges forged at different times can be found.
At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, Tacuba (also known as Tlacopan, meaning “florid plant on flat ground“) became one of the wealthiest areas of the city with large country houses, which over time and different political changes were abandoned and many were collapsed. However, among these vestiges the house of “MM34 | Mar Mediterráneo 34” remained.
“MM34 | Mar Mediterráneo 34” currently holds historical value by the National Institute of Fine Arts and the National Institute of Anthropology and History.
The restoration project started with the idea of giving a new life to a house designed in two volumes, where the first incorporates the main facade while the second has a view to the main patio, although both were in advanced deterioration and the second volume was in ruins.
The restoration project of “MM34 | Mar Mediterráneo 34” intends to fusion what prevails and what is reborn through a linear connection between two eras, this connection is also reflected at the entrance by a volcanic stone baseboard which surrounds the entire ground floor and functions as the foundation to lift what has resurfaced.
Based on these characteristics, the restoration and intervention of the original elements of the era are implemented, where the spaces are regenerated with a new materiality, and the multiple artistic and artisanal elements are recovered from the main facade such as the carved quarry from the balconies and lintels, the iron railings, the large windows and the glass roof tiles, intending to rehabilitate the new urban image.
The interior is reconstructed as a reinterpretation of the past through a contemporary perspective, where a volume is raised up framing the sky in the existing main patio and portrays the arrangement of the old portals as a sequence of light and shadow, this is how these openings rise intermittently from the ground floor in double height and become a solid element of introspective architecture.
The restored house has 3 levels and 7 apartments that adapt to different flexible spaces (Loft, studio, familiar apartment and penthouse), which interact by views to the historical elements in the main patio and two additional courtyards of lesser proportion with a tree surrounded by a set of lattices that allow the entrance of natural light keeping an autochthonous essence.
The goal of the intervention is to generate a legacy that encourages the transformation of Tacuba to enhance and rescue its heritage value, by taking advantage of spaces in a sustainable way to give life to the magical neighborhood.
Photography: João Morgado