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Restoration Of Crumbling Mansion In Mexico City Makes Coworking Cooler Than Ever

Innovative design team and developer are transforming a historic Mexican neighborhood.

By Jeff Vasishta December 27, 2016
Photo courtesy of Diana Arnau

We all have an idea of what a coworking space looks like: A renovated warehouse with refinished floors, an industrial chic vibe, banks of sofas, desks, and private offices. Table tennis, pool, and a restaurant can help add a little flavor—but generally, you don’t rent a desk there for the ambiance. Architects Francisco Pardo and Julio Amezcua, who have recently designed Havre 77 in Mexico City, will have you pining to get in their renovated buildings. Not because you need a place to work—but because you just like being there.

Designboom reported that the duo, commissioned by the local developer ReUrbano, have transformed a crumbling 19th-century mansion into a mixed-use cultural venue in Mexico City’s Colonia Juárez neighborhood. As well as a coworking space, there are offices, apartments, and two restaurants within its historic walls.

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“This is not just a restoration, it’s an intervention”, says Pardo. “Our project aims to change the DNA of a neighborhood to respond to current social needs.”

Indeed, the mansion in which Havre 77 sits, is kind of like finding a crumbling Brooklyn Victorian prior to gentrification and surfing the groundswell in hipster appeal all the way to a buzzing, full occupancy. Colonia Juárez was an affluent area in the 1900’s and went on to become home to artists and intellectuals in the 1960’s—the kind of place you might have caught Mick Jagger hanging out in between Stones gigs. So far so good. However, a revolutionary war, two earthquakes and a 50-year rent freeze (Try that in NYC – Ed.) does something to a neighborhood. In this case, it turned trendy to trashy, with beautiful buildings left to decay. However, old can often become new again and urban regeneration has taken root, rediscovering the district with art galleries, restaurants, cafés, offices and housing emerging. Havre 77 has arrived right on time.

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The two architects have adopted the mantra of “opulence means occupancy,” and so they have maintained the fabulous facade and, instead, bolstered it along with other history soaked features—such as French shutters, brickwork and cornice details with modern interior touches.

Havre 77 wasn’t the first restoration project in the neighborhood. In fact, ReUrbano and the architectural duo been getting to work on a number of similar projects including Havre 69—another mansion converted into office, commercial, and residential dwellings—and Market Milan44, which saw an old industrial building transformed into a marketplace.

“While evoking different eras through different languages, the existing building and the new additions are naturally integrated, and complete each other like two sides of the same coin,” explains the design team of Havre 77.

We couldn’t agree more.

Jeff Vasishta

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jeff Vasishta

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jeff Vasishta

Jeff is a writer, husband and father but not necessarily in that order. As a music journalist he counts Prince, Beyonce and Quincy Jones amongst those he’s interviewed. He's also owned and flipped homes in Brooklyn, NJ, CT and PA.

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