The great-grandson of famed art collector Peggy Guggenheim has just opened a gallery in Mexico, where curved cement walls meets undulating vine floors. Located at the eco-resort of Azulik in Tulum, Santiago Rumney Guggenheim opened IK Lab last month alongside the resort’s designer Jorge Eduardo Neira Sterkel.

Guggenheim Descendant Opens Tropical Art gallery in Tulum, Mexico

The design for IK LAB is aimed to be as eco-friendly as possible, making little impact on its setting. To achieve this, Guggenheim and Sterkel ensured the gallery was elevated above the ground to the height of the surrounding tree canopy. It’s built using cement and locally sourced wood, making a stark contrast to the traditional ‘white box’ spaces often seen in galleries.

The art gallery utilises the natural topography of the surrounding canopy which gives the structure its uneven shaping. Smaller tree branches are arranged in a diagonal pattern, with narrow gaps allowing light to filter through the space. IK Labs also features numerous round windows in varying shapes and sizes to offer even more light.


The local Bejuco wood is used throughout the space, especially on the floor. This is broken up by the use of cement segments which curve up like waves in front of the walls. One of these concrete segments is even designed like a climbing wall, with moon-shaped openings forming steps. The gallery also features a table and a set of chairs made of cement.

The Guggenheim-designed IK Lab is open now at Azulik resort in Tulum, where visitors are asked to take off their shoes before stepping on the undulating flooring. Head over to the Azulik Website to find out more.


For more Mexican accommodation inspiration, take a look at the Mar Adentro Hotel, dubbed ‘the most minimalist hotel on the planet’.



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