Tezontle

Tezontle Studio : Mexican Heritage Through Contemporary Design

Tezontle portrait
Lucas Cantu and Carlos H. Matos are the faces behind Mexican-based studio Tezontle.

The story began with two architects wandering through the city of Mexico to find the perfect working space to share. Eventually it transformed into a multi-disciplinary creative studio with a workshop at the center of the historical neighborhood of Mexico City.

The studio name Tezontle comes from a volcanic rock mostly used in the country during pre-hispanic era for house construction. It seems a good fit to describe their work process as materiality plays a huge role in the way they apprehend new projects.

The duo explores the complexity of their country’s rich identity through shapes and materials. Blurring the lines between art, design and architecture; their work is imbued by pre-hispanic aesthetic and Mexican heritage from ancient cultures to nowadays. From abstracts sculptures to architectural projects, they have a free flow process that allow them to push the idea far beyond what they would expect. 

The back and forth between architecture and non-functional art is what inspires a lot of the shapes and the scales we work with. One thing leads to another one,” says Cantú.

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Concrete is one of the raw material they experiment the most with, as its qualities can be both used for construction in housing project or as a sculptural material but it is also deeply ingrained in the Mexican culture.

Every year, they travel to the Huasteca area at Las Pozas. In the middle of the forest, together with the architecture association AAVS, they teach an experimental workshop on concrete.

Trough the years, Tezontle Studio has grown a renown reputation in the design world. They have been invited to develop several projects abroad such as a residency at the VDL House in Los Angeles. The installation « Tu Casa Es Mi Casa » is a reflexion based on the question : “If modern architecture was about a kind of humble idealism, then what is going to happen in these times of protectionism and paranoia?”


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They also joined  La Havana Biennal in 2019 where they built a temporary, modular pavilion made out of pre-fabricated concrete parts.

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Photos credits : Sophia van den Hoek, Junk Studio, Peana

@Tezontle