Founded by three Mexican women called María José Wiechers, Fernanda Ibarrola and Steph Ruíz; Ático35 arises from the need of creating aesthetic but functional spaces, that evoke emotions and that are the result of the balance between the architect’s vision and the client’s wishes.
Ático35 can create a building from scratch, transform a space, offer guidance for interior designing or simply fabricate a piece of furniture or decoration for any room, prioritizing the use of natural materials.
How would you describe the style at Ático35?
For us, architecture is about eliminating excess. We aim for functionality and like to keep only what is necessary. Each element must be there for a reason and their existence is always justified. In both architecture and interior design, a dialogue must always exist and of course, we naturally have our preferences as designers. We love minimalistic, pure spaces with clean lines and try to always select natural materials such as stone, marble and wood.
What are the preferred materials to work with and why?
At Ático35 We believe it’s all about attention to detail and the careful selection of the right materials, which may vary between projects depending on the location, the client, and their needs. Selecting them is not always an easy task, we always like to work with natural materials that make sense with the project’s site and how it fuses with its surroundings. Unlike natural materials, synthetic materials don’t represent the true materiality and where it comes from, nor do they leave a trace of its history in time and that’s why we avoid recommending them. This happens both for interiors and for the pieces we design in our collection. We like to focus on the beauty of natural elements. No matter how much they look alike, a piece of wood laminate will never be wood.
How can you find the balance between price, style and quality?
That is a great question, we actually do it the other way around. We believe if we fully understand what the client wants and we make the best design proposal for them, the balance of these three things will come naturally. It’s about assigning and prioritizing what they need. So, let’s say for example, some clients love to spend time in their room and away from all the chaos from the city and they are looking for a quiet space. Then, we would recommend an amazing bed with a very comfortable couch where they could rest. In this case lighting, as well as scent, would be very important, to achieve that feeling of peace they are looking for. We’ve all heard “expensive things are better”, over and over again, however, it’s not always true. We do look for quality in the design of the objects, but that doesn’t always mean we are going to select the most expensive piece of furniture, more like what’s right for them. Subsequently, if the space or object we create has a soulful, emotional feeling to it, well… mission accomplished.
What steps have you taken to be more sustainable?
When we first started, we were very aware of how important it was to help our environment and it is actually one of our missions as a company. For the elaboration of our products we look for local craftsman, we do not use machinery, and everything is handmade. For our packaging, we use biodegradable materials. The boxes are made of cardboard and our bags made of jute. They have an aesthetic look to give a better experience to the buyer, and also, people can reuse them. For architecture and interior design projects, we procure the use of natural local materials that are friendly to our environment, and have a low carbon footprint. It is a must for us.
How do you merge your vision with your client’s vision?
This is the most interesting part of the design process – as well as the most challenging one. We are always interested in who our clients are and understanding their personality is the most fascinating part of design. That’s why what we love the most is designing houses and that’s why we love interiors. The success of a project, has everything to do with the client and the vision they have; we are helping them achieve a dream, and some people tend to forget that. So, in order to come up with a unique, tailor-made project, it’s essential to share ideas and have a good communication from the beginning. If we manage to build a strong base, the design process will be quicker and we’ll achieve a better result. We always want to make the client understand why it is that we choose what we choose and why we are going in the direction we are going, as well as letting them know that we have their best interests at heart.
What are the different services you offer?
As different as the three of us are, we share one thing in common. We are very emotional and sensitive people. The three of us are very observant of our surroundings and since the beginning we talked about how important it was to have that input in our designs. That said, the services we offer have to do with integrating spatial experiences that involve all five senses. We design everything from the initial concept through to its execution, including the distribution of spaces, selection of materials, furniture, lightning, and accessories. And as we said before, it has to be a tailor-made, all-in-one space; not only the space itself, but its colors, fabrics, materials, and the design of the objects that are part of a person’s everyday life and the interaction between them. For this reason, we developed our own home product line of household items, which complements the spaces that people inhabit. Our collection name is ‘Tierra’, it was developed in collaboration with industrial designer César Núñez. We are a 100% Mexican brand of artisan design. We are inspired by the earth, which speaks of the origin of things, their materiality, and imperfection; this provides us with a more robust experience.
What makes Atico35 different from other design and architecture firms?
Our main goal is to provide a full design experience, what is it you see or touch? What do you smell when entering a space? What does it remind you of? It’s not about the space or the object in it, but them as a whole. Although we are inspired by architects and interior designers around the world and their works, we don’t like to be connected to a specific style or do what everyone else is doing for no reason. We like to design with our hearts and we like to design for a specific someone. We believe this is our most powerful asset.