Estudio Santa Rita puts a jagged roof on the Mérida artist’s studio

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Estudio Santa Rita has realized a compact and efficient building with colorful storage units and a jagged roof that houses the offices and workshops of a creative couple in Mérida, Mexico.

Estudios MF is for a couple, a fashion designer and a painter, who commissioned Studio Santa Rita to design and build their workspace.

The overlapping but distinct demands of the artist’s vocations meant that each needed their own studio space.

Estudio Santa Rita has completed Estudios MF for a creative couple

The plot’s narrow footprint led local architecture firm Estudio Santa Rita to design a narrow building with spaces arranged in a linear sequence. The floor plan of the structure is 115 square meters and was completed in 2021.

“A linear composition of workspaces and facilities are alternated and sequenced to accommodate the narrowness and length of the terrain,” said Estudio Santa Rita.

Merida Artist Studios Street
The studio is in the Mexican city of Mérida

Two main strategies helped the architecture studio maximize space. First, common areas such as small courtyards and storage are shared by the two craftsmen.

For example, a small outdoor space in the center of the volume separates the two studios. This is also where the architecture studio included the bathroom, accessible from the courtyard.

Concrete walls and sloping ceilings in artist's studio
Corridors have been avoided in favor of direct traffic

Estudio Santa Rita also sought to eliminate unnecessary hallways, in favor of circulation through the studios themselves.

“A sequential organization of open and closed spaces achieves functional connections and integrates areas with vegetation that provide air and light to the interiors,” said the architecture studio.

Artist yard with shipping container
The studios are separated by a central courtyard

In addition to the central courtyard, the two artists also have an outdoor space at the rear of the building, visible through the bay windows of one of the studios.

To contrast the concrete palette of the structure, the architects chose bright and colorful finishes for the shared amenities, such as the bathroom and a storage volume at the rear of the property.

Bright storage cabinet
Bright storage contrasts with the concrete

“Smaller compact volumes intersect the composition with bold colors to indicate function and create contrast,” the architecture studio explained.

The building’s roofline has a distinctive sawtooth profile, which allows natural light to enter each workspace.

“Tilted slabs in the shape of jagged teeth allow the large orthogonal studios to receive direct sunlight and cool northeast wind,” said Estudio Santa Rita.

These inclined structures also support solar panels. According to the architects, the angle of the skylights was chosen to optimize their electricity production, which helps offset the overall energy consumption of the building.

“The angle at which the slabs are tilted is the optimal angle and orientation to the sun that is needed to generate power through the use of solar panels,” the studio said.

Studio Santa Rita
The shape of the roof allowed to maximize the light and to optimize the solar panels

The Yucatán Peninsula has seen several new projects in recent years, particularly around the growing town of Tulum, a popular tourist destination.

Other projects in the area include an apartment complex in Cancun for use by local workers and tourists and a woven bamboo yoga pavilion by CO-Lab Design Office.

The photograph is from Sergio Rios.


Project credits:

Arq. Mauricio A. Pérez Leon, Arq. Marcos Torres Coco

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