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Welcome to Estudio MMX

Welcome to Estudio MMX - 2
Welcome to Estudio MMX - 3
Welcome to Estudio MMX - 4
Welcome to Estudio MMX - 5

Estudio MMX's projects: CVC house © Rafael Gamo and FNO pavillion © Yoshihiro Koitani

Estudio MMX is an architectural practice based in Mexico City that began in 2010 (hence the name's meaning of 2010 in roman numerals for 2010). Its four founders Jorge Arvizu, Emmanuel Ramírez, Ignacio del Río & Diego Ricalde have kindly invited Artsper into their studio for an interview. The studio is perhaps best known for its systematic and geometric approach to designing all its projects, no matter the scale. The studio's current work on the concept of public space in architecture, has received much praise.

1. Hello Jorge, Emmanuel, Ignacio and Diego! How would you all describe your architectural style and where do you get your inspiration when starting a design project?

We do not seek a preconceived style, nor do we try to follow or establish any. Our designs are the result of careful observation and understanding of our client's needs, the site where the architecture will assume, geometrical systems, structural performance, budget restrictions and construction processes. Therefore our projects vary depending on each of these situations. We are interested in geometry and architecture as systems. So to speak of where our “inspiration" comes from; it comes from different places such as nature, traditional building techniques and even from our everyday observations.

For every project we start designing, our analysis of all these different elements and variables that are site and circumstance specific, come into play. We rely on our local knowledge and traditions, both in terms of the material and spatial. This results in highly recognizable and appropriate buildings and public spaces.

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Estudio MMX's 4 founders : Diego Ricalde, Ignacio del Río, Jorge Arvizu, and Emmanuel Ramírez (left to right)

2. What have been your favorite past projects for you both?

Each project has its own special characteristics, so this question is hard to answer as we have accomplished design projects in various scales and locations. Perhaps one that comes to mind is from the first competition we won, the pavilion for the ECO Museum designed by Mathias Goeritz in Mexico City. We were able to create a powerful space with minimal intervention and had the opportunity to use unconventional materials such as rope and chains in a contemporary way to create an ephemeral, fluid, flexible and unobstructed shaded space.

3. Would you say that the creative field of art plays an important part of your designs? How does the influence of art feature in your architecture?

Art plays a central role in our practice, since architecture itself is an artistic quest. We believe architecture exists in the public perception of meaning. All the different artistic, discursive, formal and geometrical expressions are base points for our conceptual starting point.

4. How does Estudio MMX view the architectural dilemma between creating public space and private independence?

The relationship between open and enclosed spaces has always been an interest in our practice. We look to blur this line in non-deterministic spaces that allow a connection between the interior and the exterior. This being in the city or countryside. Recently, we have been exploring the idea of a spatial continuum that does not rely on the duality between the public and private; a spatial system that can gradually create different degrees of privacy and exposure, of intimacy and publicness. Public spaces should have somewhat of a scale of intimacy, so as to allow each individual to hold their own space whilst still being part of a common place. This is a subject we are still exploring.

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On the left: CBC house and on the right: CAB house © Rafael Gamo

5. Which contemporary artists, famous or emerging, are a source of inspiration to you

Between the 4 of us, we all have different artistic interests. We are united on our love for Mexican art, however. We are constantly inspired by Mexican artists such as González Gortázar, Vicente Rojo, José Clemente Orozco, Damián Ortega, Yoshua Ocón, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Francisco Toledo, Rufino Tamayo, Pedro Reyes, Carlos Mérida, Mario García Torres, Javier Marín and others that have imprinted their vision on local and global issues.

Internationally renowned artists that also inspire us are Olafur Eliasson, Ai Weiwei, Anish Kapoor, Damien Hirst, Jenny Holtzer, Barbara Kruger, Banksy, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Christo, Yayoi Kusama, and Francis Bacon. These artists are able to make us see other realities in different parts of the world through interesting lenses.

6. How has the Mexican design scene changed in the last decade? Do you have any predictions of where it is heading?

Since the last few decades, collaboration has been a very important factor in the growth of Mexican architecture. As the profession leans away from the concept of the individual, “genius figure" of the architect towards prioritizing more team work, Mexican architecture will grow. We have seen many studio practices put forward important and interesting results as the result of collaboration in the architectural process. We hope that this will continue as we believe teamwork can achieve better and more thoughtful architecture.

As for where the Mexican design scene is heading, there is still a lot of work to do regarding the dynamics of the city and its relation with its geography. We hope that interventions in public spaces along with taking on the complexities of our vast landscape and natural resources keep on being proposed. Also that both the government and private backers coordinate to tackle the multiple obstacles facing Mexico currently and find opportunities to encourage public programs that benefit small towns around Mexico and the country as a whole.

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CAB house © Rafael Gamo

Their favourite artworks

Pierre Muckensturm, XXI 40 116, Print

Pierre Muckensturm

XXI 40 116, 2021
25.6 x 19.7 x 0.2 inch


Geneviève Claisse, Composition Géométrique, Print

Geneviève Claisse

Composition Géométrique, 2015
31.1 x 24 inch


Francesco Marino Di Teana, Aube, Design

Francesco Marino Di Teana

Aube, 1977
4.3 x 3.9 x 0.8 inch


Carla Bosch, A good morning, Painting

Carla Bosch

A good morning, 2021
7.1 x 5.5 x 0.8 inch


Vasya Dmytryk, Planetarium, Sculpture

Vasya Dmytryk

Planetarium, 2022
28.7 x 25.2 x 11.4 inch


Our recommendations Kevin Jordan O'Shea, Parc de la Courneuve, Photography

Kevin Jordan O'Shea

Parc de la Courneuve, 2022
17.7 x 11.8 x 0.1 inch


Ralph Resch, Sans titre, Painting

Ralph Resch

Sans titre, 2021
51.2 x 38.2 x 0.8 inch


Our recommendations Luka Tsetskhladze, Mad Idealist, Painting

Luka Tsetskhladze

Mad Idealist, 2020
45.3 x 39.4 x 1 inch


Arthur Hent, Self-Portrait 22.45, Fine Art Drawings

Arthur Hent

Self-Portrait 22.45, 2022
16.5 x 11.8 x 0.1 inch
Fine Art Drawings


Our recommendations Severine Dietrich, Blockhouse, Painting

Severine Dietrich

Blockhouse, 2020
39.4 x 31.5 x 1.2 inch


Our recommendations Paolo Camaeti, Theatre, Painting

Paolo Camaeti

Theatre, 1992
39.4 x 59.1 x 1 inch


Anouck Botteron, RT38, Painting

Anouck Botteron

RT38, 2021
35.4 x 11.8 x 1.6 inch


Gudrun Mertes-Frady, City moves I, Painting

Gudrun Mertes-Frady

City moves I, 2022
22 x 30 inch


Julio Le Parc, Larga marcha, 4 bifurcaciones 12, Print

Julio Le Parc

Larga marcha, 4 bifurcaciones 12, 2021
26.8 x 26.8 x 0.4 inch


Francesca Borgo, Something in the wind, Painting

Francesca Borgo

Something in the wind, 2021
35.4 x 35.4 x 0.7 inch


Yannick Bouillault, Organic metal, Sculpture

Yannick Bouillault

Organic metal, 2021
3.5 x 9.4 x 8.7 inch


Our recommendations Victor Vasarely, Operenccia, Painting

Victor Vasarely

Operenccia, 1986
40 x 66 x 1 inch