Mexico City apartment transformed through sliding walls and folding screens

This multifaceted urban Mexico City apartment is a transformable wonderland by Archetonic Architects

Interior of mexico city apartment, by Archetonic
(Image credit: Arturo Arrieta)

This spectacular Mexico City apartment is a true transformable space, a complex assemblage of sliding walls, moving partitions, and blinds. Archetonic Architects, founded by Jacobo Micha Mizrahi in 1991, and including Alan Micha Balas and Jaime Micha Balas, set out to turn this generous double-height apartment into a place of endless opportunities. 

Cinema room at Llano Apartment, Mexico City, by Archetonic

The cinema room. The wooden box contains the main bathroom, with a study above

(Image credit: Arturo Arrieta)

Creating the Mexico City apartment

‘We sought to take advantage of the double-height space, insert maximum natural light and permeate the interior with the exterior environment through large windows,’ the architects explain.

Cinema room with dark marble floor and light wood at Llano Apartment, Mexico City, by Archetonic

The dark marble floor contrasts with the light wood fittings

(Image credit: Arturo Arrieta)

The rectangular plan is bisected by a long corridor running the length of the space. At one end, living and dining, at the other, a pair of en-suite bedrooms. A guest bedroom is tucked away in a marble-clad box in the centre of the space, with upper-level folding wooden walls that concertina aside to open up the space when no one is in residence.

Bedroom with large windows at Llano Apartment, Mexico City, by Archetonic

The main bedroom

(Image credit: Arturo Arrieta)

It's these half-height elements that give the apartment its dynamic character. The dark marble walls are paired with an upper level clad in light wood. ‘The design invites you to decipher light and space, volume and void,’ say the architects. 

‘The limits are composed by the duality between the absence and presence of half-height bodies that generate attics and the possibility of using another plane of the apartment.’ 

Llano Apartment corridor with marble and wood surfaces and low-level lighting

Looking down the central corridor

(Image credit: Arturo Arrieta)

Not all of these spaces are accessible; some are just voids that hang there to create a generous sense of space. 

Above the kitchen is a utility area and bathroom, while two of the downstairs bathrooms are topped with storage. The main bathroom has a hidden study area above it, reached from a ladder and clad in light-scattering mirrors.

Modern kitchen in Mexico City apartment

The kitchen adjoins the dining room

(Image credit: Arturo Arrieta)

The rest of the space can be open or closed by a series of large sliding wooden doors, with illumination cunningly hidden in the joins and junctions between material, backlighting planes and washing light across surfaces. 

Two sides of the plan are fully glazed, with a secluded surrounding garden providing a backdrop of green against the material palette.

Mexico City apartment interior with marble dividing walls

The guest room walls can be opened up when the room is not in use

(Image credit: Arturo Arrieta)

The exacting requirements also extended to the furniture and storage, much of which was custom made for the space. 

The architects describe the completed project, which covers 322 sq m, as a ‘compelling and pure space in which materiality, light and nature were the protagonists’.

Jonathan Bell has written for Wallpaper* magazine since 1999, covering everything from architecture and transport design to books, tech and graphic design. He is now the magazine’s Transport and Technology Editor. Jonathan has written and edited 15 books, including Concept Car Design, 21st Century House, and The New Modern House. He is also the host of Wallpaper’s first podcast.