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In Residence: Pedro Reyes & Carla Fernández

Inside the cavernous concrete home and creative headquarters of Mexico’s celebrated design couple.

by NOWNESSPublished on : Oct 25, 2019

04 min watch
In Residence: Pedro Reyes & Carla Fernández Video Credit: Courtesy of Nowness

The Mexico City home of artist Pedro Reyes and fashion designer Carla Fernández is a continually adapting architectural project. Coarse concrete walls divide the sprawling space into discrete sections that, over the years, has evolved to meet both the demands of a working atelier and comfort of a family home.

“Their home is more than just a living space but a reflection of their commitment to working with the community”

The daunting brutalism of the space is offset by Fernández’s vibrant textiles and Reyes’ sculptural work. A larger than life-sized sculpture of Vladimir Lenin’s head lies in repose, a wooden ‘hand chair’ with articulating fingers sits in the corner, and shovels cast from melted down weapons hang on a wall. Moving from the man-made to the natural, the master bathroom resembles an ancient geological site with its carved volcanic stone basin and roughly-hewn rockpool bathtub. Around the home lightwells of brilliant yellow interrupts the grey of the concrete, while large cacti and palms beckon a sense of the outdoors.

Their Coyoacán home is more than just a living space but a reflection of their commitment to working with the community. Most of the cement work was completed in-house by local craftspeople and the workshop is continually awash with neighbourhood artisans working on Reyes’s new sculptural projects.

Reyes’s opus extends far beyond material arts and sculptures - most notably his People’s United Nations (stylised as “pUN”) invited 193 volunteers to find resolutions to geopolitical conflicts using psychology and theater.

Meanwhile, Fernández’s eponymous fashion label works alongside indigenous communities in order to promote traditional weaving techniques and patterns to global audiences. As the couple continually seek out new partnerships and opportunities for knowledge exchange, they have both been visiting lecturers for the MIT program in Art, Culture and Technology. The couple’s work, just like their cavernous home, is a testament to the rewards of local collaboration and celebration of Mexico’s rich heritage.  

Next up, In Residence: Amanda Levete

To see more episodes from the series ‘In Residence’, click here.

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