Architecture

Kaji

Words by Carl MH Barenbrug

Located in Michoacán, Mexico, we visit the quintessential white box offices of architecture firm, HW Studio. The office is located where once stood the wood drying ovens of Señal furniture factory owned by Don Shoemaker—one of the most important Mexican furniture designers of 20th Century.

When the factory closed, the ovens remains abandoned and we thought it was a good idea to occupy and revamp them to develop our studio inside.

Kaji is a space that is divided into two areas, which are joined through a wide transition linking the technical work area to the conceptual work area. The technical work area is dominated by a forceful element the architects like to call “the alter”—a large table on which models, plans, materials, and concepts are created. The alter holds the workspaces of the newest members of the team. Their chairs are oriented towards the building’s only window so that they meet with more lively and entertaining environments and situations to break their routine—perhaps an odd decision that runs the risk of being counter-productive. The window opens to a patio that has been filled with Mexican ash trees and jacarandas.

Then there’s there theoretical work area. This is a very particular space since it is entirely enclosed from the outside. It is illuminated and ventilated in a zenithal way, giving it a sacred quality, not dissimilar to the church.

It has a very introspective nature, which captivated us because meditation is a very important tool that we use in our creative process.

Photography
Dane Alonso
Website
hw-studio.com
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