What does the modern Mexican architectural lexicon look like? Carlos Couturier and Moisés Micha have built 12 different interpretations of it across Mexico, each with a distinctly local angle. The latest addition to their Grupo Habita collection is Círculo Mexicano, located right in Mexico City’s historic center, next to highlights such as the Metropolitan Cathedral and Templo Mayor ruins. Housed in a 19th century residence, the hotel is a contemporary take on a traditional Mexican patio house.
Couturier and Micha chose to work on the project with award-winning local architects Jorge Ambrosi and Gabriela Etchegaray who are known for “architecture that is in harmony with nature, where earth, gravity, and light must be present.” At Círculo Mexicano, the collapsed roof of the existing building revealed the potential of a patio to let in lots of light and open up the spaces. And so, a central patio acts as a modern marketplace with handpicked stores such as Simple by Trista by Giovanni Estrada and José Alfredo Silva and unique dining options by the well-known chef behind Contramar, Gabriela Cámara. Most of the rooms also have patios that provide private spaces for guests to retreat. A proud showcase for local talent, Círculo Mexicano features custom made furniture by the design studio La Metropolitana, following the Shakers design principle of simplicity, utility, and material honesty to add to the spaces’ architectural lightness.
“We only create one hotel a year in order to understand the community, its vision, and tastes,” says Couturier of their approach to each new project. “Even if we’re successful at something, we don’t repeat it,” Couturier says. “We like this sense of passion and audacity.”