Pedro Reyes studio in Mexico City

Pedro Reyes designs his own brutalist studio in Mexico City

Mexican sculptor Pedro Reyes has built a bunker-like studio from prefabricated concrete and stone alongside his home in Coyoacán, Mexico City.

Reyes, who trained as an architect before becoming an artist, designed the extension to his home to be the main workplace for his studio.

"We prepared spaces for a wood shop, a metal shop, a loading dock, as well as a drawing studio with circular skylights, which provide even light, since we like to draw and work by hand in an old fashioned way, and minimise the use of computers," Reyes told Dezeen.

Pedro Reyes studio in Mexico City

The studio was designed following the 2017 earthquake and needed to be built quickly, so Reyes chose to use prefabricated concrete panels, which gives the building its brutalist appearance.

"We had a window of opportunity to build the studio in a very short time because of permits, which was one of the reasons why we chose to use prefab elements," said Reyes.

"Definitely, it resembles a work more of infrastructure or engineering than of architecture, which is one of the characteristics of brutalism."

Pedro Reyes studio in Mexico City

The distinctive, curved prefabricated-concrete panels were designed to give the building a sculptural quality, as Reyes wanted the studio to appear as if it had been placed on the ground.

"I designed concrete slabs of different lengths which have a curvature both at the top and the bottom," explained Reyes.

"By doing a curvature at the bottom, I wanted to convey the feel of a more object-like quality for the building, meaning not one that is emerging from its foundation, but more like sitting on the ground to give it a more sculptural quality."

Pedro Reyes studio in Mexico City

Inside the studio, there is a double-height stone workshop, which is top lit and accessed through a large door.

"The stone shop was made with cenital lighting in the style of a factory, with very high doors so a truck platform can come in, and beams with a travelling crane that can lift stone blocks up to 10 tons in weight."

In the other spaces, including the drawing studio, Reyes has combined the concrete elements with volcanic stone.

"Certainly, towards the facade, the prefab elements give the look of a bunker or a power station, but we did not want to do that on the inside, because it would have looked like a jail," said Reyes.

"Towards the interior garden, we have a volcanic lava wall that connects more with the local heritage and gives the studio a warmer feel."

Pedro Reyes studio in Mexico City

Throughout the project Reyes has chosen to use materials that maintain the aesthetic of the adjacent house, but treat them in new ways.

"Being an expansion of the house, we wanted to have this kind of same palette of materials which is stone and concrete, yet within that palette we have a lot of different treatments that allow different textures and surfaces," he explained.

Pedro Reyes studio in Mexico City

Another concrete home in Mexico City is the apartment complex that Studio Rick Joy built in the city's Polanco neighbourhood.

Photography is by Edmund Sumner.

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Pedro Reyes studio in Mexico City
Pedro Reyes studio in Mexico City
Pedro Reyes studio in Mexico City
Pedro Reyes studio in Mexico City
Pedro Reyes studio in Mexico City
Pedro Reyes studio in Mexico City
Pedro Reyes studio in Mexico City
Pedro Reyes studio in Mexico City
Pedro Reyes studio in Mexico City