Mexico City is surely doing something right – of all capital cities in the North American continent, this is the first and the only one till now to be chosen as the Word Design Capital. So now, in addition to the mysticism of ancient cultures, the vibrancy of the art & music and the delicacy of the cuisine, there’s a whole new USP for travelers heading to the Mexican capital: uniquely innovative design sensibilities.
Therefore, instead of the usual bunch of historic centers and bohemian neighbor hoods, we have curated for you a list of fabulously designed places to explore in Mexico City.
Photo credits: The Culture Trip
Mexico City has a museum in every corner, more than 150 of them in all. From a design lover’s perspective though, there is a lot that is unique to the Museo Soumaya. Consistently ranking among the most visited museums in the city, this is a place lauded by architects and art veterans alike. It houses more than 66,000 paintings and artifacts ranging from the Early Modern period to 21st century Modern Art.
Luis Barragán House and Studio
Photo credits: Wikimedia
Luis Barragán is one of Mexico’s most celebrated architects; and his own house and studio his best work. The house still has some of Barragan’s personal effects, all of its original furniture and a venerable art collection of Mexican artists spanning four centuries. Barragán House made it to UNESCO’s World Heritage list in 2004 and was additionally acknowledged by UNESCO as “a master piece in the development of the modern movement that merges traditional and vernacular elements, as well as diverse philosophical and artistic currents throughout time, into a new synthesis”. Architects visiting Mexico City take inspiration and important design lessons from the spectacular design of the Casa.
Photo credits: Ryo Kan
Talking of uniqueness, this place perfectly fits the bill: a pristine white building located amidst a sea of colour, and an oasis of calm amidst a bustling metropolis. Down to the smallest detail, everything in Ryo Kan is designed to relax and rejuvenate you. The three terrace baths with panoramic views of the urban landscape are worth a trip to Mexico and back!
A picturesque space restored from the stable of a Luis Barragán designed house, Tetetlán calls for wholehearted admiration. Its glass floors let you watch the local volcanic formations underneath as you relish some local Mexican coffee. In addition to a café, Tetetlán also has a shopping place hosting local designer collections, a yoga studio, a library and a Mesoamerican restaurant – perfect place to spend a leisurely day.
Photo credits: Tetetlán, Brit + Co (L); Azul Histórico, Kababie Arquitectos (R)
Done up in 2012 inside a 17th century mansion, this quaint restaurant brings together the best of two worlds – modern design techniques melding into old architecture. The artistic blue tableware themed on different ingredients of Mexican food does complete justice to the aesthetics of the surrounding.
Sanborns Casa de los Azulejos
Photo credits: Flickr Hive Miner
Savouring authentic Mexican food is an incredible experience in itself; and when you are served a delectable variety of it in a sun-lit courtyard done up in Novo-Hispanic baroque architecture, you get a most memorable afternoon.
Photo credits: Onora Casa
You will want to buy all your holiday souvenirs here. The boutique has a meticulously curated collection of crafts and textiles, all from local makers. Their inherent values of attention to detail and melding tradition with design reflect in every piece of their catalogue.
Photo credits: Onora Casa
Symbols of ethnic Mexican culture like this wooden skull, for instance, are definitely things you must take home. What we can promise is that everything in this shop is going to be originally Mexican: designed, crafted and chosen by people who discern the real spirit of the country; and the outstanding quality of material and technique will ensure you can proudly display your purchases in a conspicuous space of the house.
Whether it’s in architecture, artifacts or luxurious outdoor baths, Mexico City has numerous ways to awe you with its offerings in groundbreaking design. For your next urban escapade, choose this quirky capital where art and aesthetics lurk around every nook.