TULUM, Mexico – In the heart of the Yucatán peninsula, Roth Architecture, a local design studio, has given life to an extraordinary creation known as the Fab Lab. This innovative structure seamlessly blends concrete and palm fiber to fashion an organically shaped masterpiece inspired by the awe-inspiring patterns and forms found in nature.
Unlike conventional office spaces, the Fab Lab is more than just a workspace; it’s an artistic embodiment of nature’s influence on architecture. Roth Architecture’s vision for this building, like many of their previous projects, centers around embracing the organic, irregular, yet harmonious shapes that nature itself offers.
The Fab Lab’s design is a testament to this philosophy, with spaces distributed as independent buildings that adapt harmoniously to their surroundings. The central module, with its meandering form, captivates with its visual dynamism.
Crafted from reinforced concrete and steel, the narrow structure of the Fab Lab intricately weaves through its jungle setting, sometimes even wrapping itself around the ancient trees, revealing their majestic trunks within.
Bulbous forms punctuate the length of the structure, creating an enticing blend of curves and straight lines. The curvilinear windows and doors, featuring various shapes and scale-like metal reinforcements, are positioned at varying heights and intervals. Some are in close proximity to the ground, while others serve as slender skylights.
“The doors and windows bear patterns and shapes reminiscent of jungle foliage and insect wings,” notes the studio, highlighting the building’s deep connection with its natural surroundings.
Concrete fins stretch along the length of the structure, providing small overhangs and protecting the glass elements. Inside, the Fab Lab is equipped with cutting-edge machinery, including 3D printers, thermoforming machines, laser cutters, water jets, and a versatile six-axis robotic arm.
The interior is a testament to both functionality and aesthetics. One section features a computer lab with windows adorned with translucent resins and palm fibers. A unique undulating wooden desk lines one wall, adding an artistic touch to the workspace.
The area housing the robotic arm is a remarkable dome constructed from woven tree trunks and vines, with the same distinctive curvilinear windows forming its base. Open atriums, with towering trees as their centerpiece, grace other parts of the interior.
Planting beds, integrated seamlessly into the concrete floor, are adorned with native jungle plants, bringing a touch of nature indoors. Additionally, concrete benches and tables emerge gracefully from the floor in various spaces, offering functional and artistic value.
Numerous small wooden shelves and strategically placed studio lights adorn the curving ceiling. Roth Architecture’s deliberate choice of materials and design elements ensures the Fab Lab’s longevity. Intriguingly, one of the lab’s future purposes is to create components that can be both assembled and disassembled, embodying sustainability and adaptability.
The Fab Lab is an integral part of the Azulik resort, a project by Roth Studio that includes accommodations, a museum, free-standing installations, and a restaurant, all designed in a similar organic style.
Eduardo “Roth” Neira, the visionary behind Roth Architecture and president of the Enchanting Transformation Foundation, is a self-taught architect and builder with a mission to find original and eco-centric solutions for everyday life’s needs.
Tulum continues to be a hotbed of architectural innovation, with recent projects such as a striking red housing complex by Coyote Arquitectura and a mesmerizing brutalist-style villa by Espacio 18 gracing this vibrant coastal town.