A Spectacularly Bizarre Apartment in Mexico City

The work of Astrid and Eddy Sykes, owners of the interdisciplinary Mexico City business wrinkleMX, has a sense of spectacle and intensity, possibly even a touch of crazy. The duplex flat that the designers created for a young family is a tour de force of materials investigation and sculptural brio, astounding and entirely unique, tucked discreetly behind the historical façade of an early-20th-century structure on the outskirts of the Mexican city. With its folded planes of brass and a marble island that reads like a Mayan sacrificial altar, the kitchen alone is deserving of a dissertation on eccentricity and experiential design. In a nutshell, there's nothing like it.

The couple founded wrinkleMX, a hybrid architecture, design, landscaping, and bespoke fabrication firm, three years after migrating from Los Angeles to Mexico City. An open-ended commission to rethink an urban pied-à-terre for a couple with two young children was the firm's big break.

The Sykeses embraced the challenge wholeheartedly over the next two years, conjuring a sequence of magnificent, interwoven ornamental art and architecture coups de théâtre. An island of pieced Tikal green marble from Guatemala, with a topographical mountain range separating the cooking surface from the counter; an elongated architectonic sink of coarse travertine; a bravura ceiling of folded brass planes that cascades down into a wall of faceted brass pantry doors; and a floor of swirled colored concrete and marble dust, designed in collaboration with Pablo Kobayashi and handmade on-site.

The tempting tiles continue into the open living and dining spaces, which are surrounded by an optical paper with a subtle three-dimensional impression controlled by LED lights. The honeycomb-like ceiling light above the dining table, hung in hexagonal bronze frames and made of mouth-blown glass in various hues of pink, makes a strong presence in the room, especially in contrast to the lush greenery of the interior and terrace gardens. A sepulchral arched bookcase and a dramatic curving stair of wood and plaster, both painted in a fearless purple hue, announce to visitors that this is no ordinary abode in the entry foyer/library on the first floor.

The couple devised a complex slot-and-pin system that accommodates slabs of highly figured quartzite within a tensile brass armature in the compact primary bath, which continues the arresting moments. Conspicuously conventional wallpaper, especially in the bedrooms, provides a foil to the couple's avant-garde design.

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