Hotel Habita
TEN Arquitectos

May 24, 2004 /

Mexico City, Mexico

Hotal Habita. Photo courtesy Ten Arquitectos

The architects converted a five-story 1950's apartment building, located on a commercial street lined with retail stores and office buildings, into a thirty-six room boutique hotel, with new services and amenities such as a swimming pool, gym, sauna, bar, and restaurant.

The old structure achieved a new identity because of its new wrapper, a frosted glass envelope composed of rectangular glass panels, which exists beyond the original facade. This "air buffer" not only controls heat gains, eliminating the need for heating and cooling systems, it also serves as an acoustical device and mediates the view while providing privacy. Sandwiched between the new and old facades are the original balconies and new corridors.

Hotel Habita. Photo courtesy Ten Arquitectos

Hotel Habita. Photo courtesy Ten Arquitectos

Photo courtesy Ten Arquitectos

From a distance the new facade appears to be an expressionless mask but, at closer range, as a play of shadows appears, the shadowed walkways, balconies and guests become visible.

Small transparent bands are the new facade's only adornment.  These strategically small apertures provide each room choreographed views of the city beyond, framing the desirable and screening out the unsightly.

Hotel Habita. Photo courtesy Ten Arquitectos

Photo courtesy Ten Arquitectos

The rooms themselves look out onto two planes of floor-to-ceiling glass, the inner is transparent, the outermost, opaque.  These planes are imbued with natural light all day and provide complete privacy.  The decor of the rooms follow the austerity of the outer enclosure, as only a bed and a cantilevered plane of glass, which serves as both desk and table, occupy the space, everything else is concealed behind a polished panelled wall.  This minimalist aesthetic enlarges the experience of the otherwise compact rooms.

Photo courtesy Ten Arquitectos

Photo courtesy Ten Arquitectos

Hotel Habita. Roof terrace. Photo courtesy Ten Arquitectos

Hotel Habita. Photo courtesy Ten Arquitectos

The hotel has become a popular destination in the city and has transformed its surrounding area.  The roof top pool, terrace, bar and lounge provide a public gathering space, and offer recovered views of the city.

Hotel Habita. Photo courtesy Ten Arquitectos

At night, the entire building is transformed into a lantern with a changing checkerboard pattern of illumination, controlled by the room occupants.

Drawing courtesy TEN Arquitectos

Drawing courtesy TEN Arquitectos

Drawing courtesy TEN Arquitectos

Drawing courtesy TEN Arquitectos

Drawing courtesy TEN Arquitectos

Facts about Hotel Habita

Area (approx.):

2,500 square meters

TEN Arquitectos (Taller de Enrique Norten Arquitectos SC)

Project Team:  
Enrique Norten
Bernardo Gómez-Pimienta
Aarón Hernández
Sergio Nuñez
Francisco Pardo
Julio Amezcua
Hugo Sánchez
Claudia Marquina
Carlos López
Martine Paquin
Adriana Díaz
Rubén Garnica
Miguel Ríos.
Photographed by:
Luis Gordoa, Undina Prohl

Graphic Design:
Ricardo Salas


Jan Hendrix


Miguel Ríos

Computer Model:

Jean Michel Colonnier


Carlos Couturier
Moises Micha
Jaime Micha
Rafael Micha. Hotel Habita

Last updated: December 19, 2013

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