- Architects In Charge: Francisco Bernés Aranda, Fabián Gutiérrez Cetina
- Construction : Isabel Bargas Cicero, Alejandro Bargas Cicero
- Design Team : Rosa Balam, Jorge Peon, Armando Perez, Jose Angel Beltrán
- City: Merida
- Country: Mexico
Text description provided by the architects. The Italian ‘studiolo’, during the Renaissance of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, was a room or chamber of a palace where the owner could retire to a private environment, often lavishly decorated, dedicated to reading, studying, and writing. Located in one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city of Mérida, this space was conceived as a home studio for the Mexican artists David Serrano and Robert Willson. Here they can work on their pieces, relax and use it as a meeting point for collectors, gallery owners, artists, colleagues, and friends.
The style of the property fuses elements of Yucatecan colonial architecture and 20th-century Italian modernism, with which the owners feel connected, since for almost 25 years they worked with 20th-century pieces in their Los Angeles 'Downtown20' Gallery, so it was very important for them to reflect this style in the project. A clear example of this is the design of the façade that was inspired by the work of the Italian architect Gio Ponti.
Traditional materials were used in contemporary ways, such as the case of the floors, where the traditional pasta tile rugs are reinterpreted: instead of fitting them into the space, they are randomly “thrown” as if they were fabric rugs. On the interior walls, a chukum coating is used in different shades, producing dynamism, depth, and a velvety texture on the walls. The windows, made with black ironwork and transparent glass, allude to functionalist architecture, connecting the space to a side garden and the backyard, generating a pleasant breeze as a result of cross ventilation.
The spatiality of the project is very simple, but within its simplicity iconic pieces of design stand out, the ground floor has a work area with a Jean Prouvé table, the living room with an LC1 chair by Le Corbusier and a Verner Panton lamp, the dining room with vintage pieces from the 1940s by Woodard, the kitchenette with SMEG appliances, and a lamp by Wilhelm Wagenfeld. Floating in space, an orange glass cube stands out as the leading, surprising, and totally unexpected element, which contains a powder room inside, and serves as a canvas for drawing and experimenting.
In the back, a Roly Poly chair stands out among the monochromatic exterior, which is located next to the small black pool that alludes to the architecture of Mies van der Rohe. The spiral staircase as if it were a sculpture with its subtlety and elegance unites the public space with the bedroom, with a full view of the patio and a small terrace. The bed is floating in the middle of the space, and next to it, is a Gio Ponti lamp. There is also a Wet-room, a walk-in closet, and a laundry area. Studiolo fully represents the artists who inhabit it, artists who love color, the juxtaposition of elements, and taking risks, a reflection of their personal and professional style.