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Círculo Mexicano: Soulful Minimalism in Mexico City

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Círculo Mexicano: Soulful Minimalism in Mexico City

February 1, 2021

Local history and minimalist design come together at Círculo Mexicano, a new boutique hotel in the center of Mexico City. The grand 19th-century building, located just behind the city’s main cathedral, has been given a spare and luminous interior courtesy of Ambrosi | Etchegaray, the Mexico City-based architecture studio led by Jorge Ambrosi and Gabriele Etchegaray. The designers tasked themselves with creating a modern luxury hotel that keeps faith with the building’s past, with Shaker-inspired interiors featuring materials and furniture crafted by local artisans. According to Ambrosi,  the firm “tried to reduce the elements to make them a part of the architecture.” The resulting design is elegant and contemplative, providing a serene getaway just a short walk from the city’s cultural center.

Let’s take a look.

Photos courtesy of Grupo Habita.

now home to a modern marketplace beneath the hotel’s \25 rooms, the renovated 9
Above: Now home to a modern marketplace beneath the hotel’s 25 rooms, the renovated façade provides a modern update on the building’s 19th-century design.
shaker inspired furnishings complement the cool stone floors and walls, creatin 10
Above: Shaker-inspired furnishings complement the cool stone floors and walls, creating a sense of harmony between traditional materials and modern design.

Ambrosi and Etchegaray worked with local Mexican artists and artisans to outfit the room’s interiors. The simple architecture helps the objects stand out: carefully crafted wooden furniture by La Metropolitana complements hand-blown light fixtures from Duco Lab and textiles sewn by Oaxacan artisans. These utilitarian pieces are faithful to traditional Shaker design, with a premium on simplicity and functionality.

the bedding is made of textiles hand stitched by local oaxacan artisans using n 11
Above: The bedding is made of textiles hand-stitched by local Oaxacan artisans using natural, neutral-toned fibers.
above, the deluxe room (\$\1\20 a night). the platform below the bed and the si 12
Above, the Deluxe Room ($120 a night). The platform below the bed and the side table are made from massive granite blocks that blend seamlessly into the floors and walls.
the rooms’ building materials act as decoration, exposed brick in the barrel  13
Above: The rooms’ building materials act as decoration, exposed brick in the barrel-vaulted ceilings complements the wooden furniture and serves as a reminder of the building’s history.
the wooden shutters on the windows overlooking the hotel’s central courtyard  14
Above: The wooden shutters on the windows overlooking the hotel’s central courtyard are both functional and decorative. To encourage organization and a sense of space, Shaker peg rails are used to hang mirrors, trinket boxes, and even furniture.
at once functional and a reference to devotional practice, candles fill the box 15
Above: At once functional and a reference to devotional practice, candles fill the boxes hanging from the peg rails.
many rooms feature skylit patios that elegantly harmonize stone and natural lig 16
Above: Many rooms feature skylit patios that elegantly harmonize stone and natural light in the outdoor space.
Above: In the bathrooms, monolithic blocks of granite blend in with the walls. Only essential functional elements serve as decoration.
the zig zagging staircase in the central courtyard is original to the building. 19
Above: The zig-zagging staircase in the central courtyard is original to the building.

Above: Manuel Alvarez Bravo’s El Ensueño (The Daydream) is one of the works on view throughout the hotel.
The original building was home to celebrated Mexican photographer Manuel Álvarez Bravo. He shot one of his most famous works, El Ensueño (The Daydream), in the building’s inner courtyard. This work and selected others are now displayed throughout the hotel.

Above: The hotel’s rooftop pool and bar provide panoramic views of the capital, including the Metropolitan Cathedral, the National Palace, and Templo Mayor.
For more in Mexico City:

Rosetta: Mexico City’s Most Beautiful Restaurant?

Restaurant Visit: Baja Transported, in Mexico City

Onora Casa: Traditional Mexican Goods Made Modern

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