dwelling by studio rick joy echoes carved urban sculpture in polanco, mexico city

dwelling by studio rick joy echoes carved urban sculpture in polanco, mexico city

studio rick joy presents a five-story apartment building along a quiet street of mexico city’s thriving polanco neighborhood. tucked away near the parroquia de san agustin, the apartment expresses a restrained material palette informed by local building traditions, generating a sense of deep warmth and experiential softness. surrounded by buildings on three sides, the residence is an infill project that opens to the city only by its west facade. three light wells — each vegetated using a variety of planters, boxes, and hanging vines to add greenery and softness to the exposed concrete structure — ensure that daylight reaches the lower levels of the block.

rick joy polanco
all images by joe fletcher photography



at street level, studio rick joy introduces its polanco residential project with a blackened-steel gate detailed with brass inserts. this entryway leads into the spatial rhythm of the courtyard, which is illuminated from the light wells above. a narrow staircase leads to the second story, its solid steel-plate structure enlivened by a winding, brushed-brass handrail. each of the two apartments spans two floors. the lower apartment can be accessed on the second floor through a double-height, lushly planted outdoor porch, which connects the inner access of the building with the street.

rick joy polanco



from its main living-room terrace, the upper penthouse of the studio rick joy project provides stunning views overlooking the dense polanco skyline. a limited palette of materials, informed by local building traditions, gives the building the appearance of a carved urban sculpture. board-formed concrete, cast in place and rough sawn, serves as both earthquake-resistant structure and surface finish, giving softly shadowed texture to the walls. light wells draw natural light down through a central courtyard and into the lower levels of the building, softening the exposed textural concrete, and are detailed with a variety of planters, boxes, bars and hanging greenery that add lushness to each residence.

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project info:


project title: polanco

architecture: studio rick joy

location: polanco, mexico city

local architect, consultant: FRB arquitectos asociados

landscape and garden design: entorno taller de paisaje

lighting design: CLL concept lighting lab LLC

builder: P&G (rodolfo padilla and gilberto gomez)

structural engineering: rodolfo padilla

photography: joe fletcher photography

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