When Carlos Ortega returned to Mexico after 8 years in Paris, he found “things were starting to happen” in the country’s capital. After working for Givenchy for 6 collections, in addition to collaborating with Vuitton, Chanel, Hermés, he decided to launch his own fashion line.
He chose Mexico City’s Polanco district where rents are high so in order to keep costs low he settled on a small apartment by Mexican standards. In order to divide the 65-square-meter (600 square feet) space into public and private spaces he hired ROW architects to create something affordable yet with a sense of style.
Architect Alfonso Maldonado and his partners chose an engineered wood- OSB (oriented strand board) panels- in order to carve the rented space to Ortega’s tastes. One long, diagonal OSB wall divides the entire apartment, separating the private- bedroom, bathroom and closet- from the public- living room/showroom.
The wall twists both to carve out nooks – like a tiny desk/tv space in the bedroom or a bookshelf for Ortega’s extensive collection (much of which is fashion-related).
The warped walls are also a very easy way to grow a small space, explains Maldonado. “This flipping surfaces, it helps to give a sense of depth. And it’s a really efficient way to make a space look bigger.”
The entire renovation- including walls, ceiling and floors- cost about 6 thousand dollars total and was completed in just 6 weeks, all with Ortega still working and living in it.
* This video was filmed entirely by Johnny Sanphillippo, himself an owner of a mortgage-free tiny home.