When Taller Estilo opened its first workshop, they were located just outside of Centro, in front of the iconic Plaza de Toros.
Víctor Cruz, Luis Estrada, and Atahualpa Hernández spent their early years moving from offices to apartments until they found their current headquarters: a converted pasta-tiled home just one block from Paseo de Montejo.
“The Centro has really become our cornerstone,” says Atahualpa. “In the past 18 years we’ve restored, remodeled, and restructured over 200 houses in Centro alone.”
This colonial-contemporary space has been their base for over eight years now.
Although their work is not exclusive to downtown Mérida, their architectural style has become synonymous with historic-modern properties. The team remembers how they started carving a name for themselves in the early days, when the Centro real estate boom was just starting.
“We printed out postcards with our information,” says Víctor. “First with photo-realistic perspectives and then with photos from our first project. We’d walk around Centro and slide them under the doors of properties we thought could be possible clients. And soon enough people started contacting us.”
When the team started working on historic buildings in the Centro, they were looking to create contemporary twists that made the homes enjoyable while preserving their essence.
Many of their architecture clients were foreigners who came into Yucatán looking for designs with a heavy influence in central México — from states such as Guanajuato, Guerrero, and Puebla.
“It was a learning process for us, too,” says Atahualpa. “We had to let people know that the elements they were looking for — Talavera, bright colors, pottery pieces — were not really found in the state. And we had to take their vision and translate it into what Yucatán actually has to offer — like pasta tiles, chukum, and masonry.”
Their particular way of revamping colonial homes soon became a popular take among lovers of design and architecture. They note that a big part of the successful development of their designs comes from their close relationship with craftsmen and artisans.
“They are the true experts when it comes to the materials we use,” says Luis. “We’re very grateful to have built a team that directs us into the best version of our projects.”
The respect they pay to their team is also a key aspect of their approach when working on a new project.
“The balance between modernizing and preserving lies in respecting what is already there. Not just the home itself, but its surroundings. Taking the street into account, the neighborhood, its residents. And creating inwards from there, thinking of who will get to enjoy the space.”
When thinking of an aspect that defines their architecture, they point to the slogan of the firm.
“We share the idea that architecture is emotional,” says Víctor. “That’s what we go by — Architecture that generates emotions. That’s what we want to be known for. For creating something that can be experienced through all our senses.”
Today, Taller Estilo has grown from three members to over 20 people and several departments dedicated solely to the development of their designs.
Their construction, development, and interior design areas became a necessity in order to ensure the correct implementation of their ideas, and deliver the best result for each project.
Although the workload does not always allow it, they try to work together in every project, the way they have since the beginning.
“It’s quite tricky nowadays, making our schedules work,” says Luis, “but we are well aware of the value we each bring to the table. All of our projects are something to remember, but we could never forget the ones we’ve created together.”
Learn more about Taller Estilo on their website.