text by Lucia Fiorucci
Even from the entrance cloister of this portion of the Convent of Mary Magdalene, the atmosphere is enticing, and is made even more fascinating by the layers of history, culture and architectural details that Ricardo Mendez has used in creating his apartment, whilst leaving the original structure visible.
The winning idea of the Mexican photographer was to create both intimate and permeable spaces, such as with the passage way. Too large to be just a thoroughfare, but too small to be a living area, it has become an extra space for the kitchen and living room, thanks to the extension of the antique cellar doors, architraves and wooden flooring.
The two bedrooms further back have also been created with the same principle of fidelity to the original architectural composition of the convent. Respecting the history of the building, Ricardo has restored the floors of the kitchen and living room, and removed the ceiling so bringing to light the Tuscan attic with its wooden beams and terracotta tiles, and thus perfectly marrying the wooden ceiling with the new wood flooring in the hallway.
The Umbrian/Tuscan flavours of this environment are flanked by an exotic reminder of his homeland, with the colours of the Mexican ceramic knobs are of a similar colour to the Deruta tiles used for the built-in kitchen Beauty, functionality and cultures all come together here. The silence and tranquillity, typical of places of prayer and retreat remain; a little magic to go with the breathtaking view over Anghiari.
A NOTE TO THE CURIOUS: Ricardo has reinstated the large, stone framed window in the bathroom, which was previously bricked up for two thirds of its height. He didn’t even need to put up curtains, as it faces onto a high, ivy-covered wall.