Mexico City’s La Condesa is a pedestrian’s paradise, with tall trees and historic homes lining the charming neighborhood. Octavia Casa, a boutique hotel designed by PPAA, captures the neighborhood’s essence, with airy details that encourage encounters between guests and passersby.
Thin teak lattices cover the hotel’s façade, offering privacy to street-facing rooms while still welcoming light into the interiors. At ground level, they function as sliding doors that can fully open, becoming extensions of the sidewalk and creating “a direct relation with the urban environment,” says architect Pablo Pérez Palacios, founder of the local firm.
The hotel’s minimalist aesthetic is inspired by Octavia, the women’s wear label run by Roberta Maceda. The fashion designer purchased the three-story Condesa building in 2018, which was demolished and transformed from a rundown property into the hotel. Like the clothing brand it’s named for, Octavia Casa represents “natural, clean, and honest” values, Pérez Palacios says.
In practice, this meant using marble, wood, stone for the floors, and a traditional Mayan stucco on the walls. “There is not one single space covered or painted,” he says. Bamboo stools accent concrete tables that are topped with ceramic vases holding native plants, while cotton satin bedding is courtesy of Octavia’s homewear line. To contrast the soft interiors, the design team filled exterior spaces with various textures, including big leafy plants and gravel paths.
Octavia Casa has seven rooms: two studios, four hotel rooms, and one apartment-style suite. Each is named for an earthy material, such as ochre or jute fiber, and all feature private outdoor space. Pérez Palacios sought to balance the guestrooms’ intimate “home-away-from-home” feeling with a communal, neighborly spirit in the shared spaces. Instead of closed, walled hallways, the property has open corridors and stairways that lead to a courtyard. “In a very simple way, it captures the idea of openness,” he says.
Related: 2021 Development Update: Mexico
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