Jorge Eduardo Neira Sterkel : IK LAB

In Tulum, in the Mexican peninsula of Yucatan known for its fine sand beaches and Maya remains, as well as for its contemporary cultural centers, the architect and entrepreneur Jorge Eduardo Neira Sterkel imagines Azulik, a luxury hotel complex that it embellishes with the IK Lab, an avant-garde art gallery inspired by the surrounding jungle. Or when the walls become works of art themselves ...

Created in partnership with Santiago Rumney Guggenheim, great-grandson of the illustrious Peggy Guggenheim, the project draws on the particular history of the Yucatan, in charge of cults and energy. Thus, the trip to the gallery is a journey of initiation, forcing visitors to cross a river in the jungle before rushing into the curved tunnel leading to the exhibition space.


Culminating at 4 meters high, the building is imagined as an open dome on the outside whose perspectives and materials offer viewers an impression of infinity. The ensemble benefits from a cement and local wood structure, made from three irregularly shaped hardwood trunks. The awning, overlooking the exhibition area, is formed from branches whose arrangement evokes that of the leaves. This envelope filtering the light is also pierced by round windows leaving largely appearing the bujecos outside, trees whose wood is also used for the coverings of the ground.

The large presence of raw concrete, for its part, evokes the world of the white cube, the contemporary gallery and calls on the artists to adorn this smooth and neutral surface.

A break in time that only art and architecture can bring to life.

Photographs: Ik Lab

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