Umbral. The Spanish word translates to English as ‘threshold’. It’s also the name of a new hospitality destination in Mexico City – Hotel Umbral. Its title hints to the interiors: design studio NOMAH and architectural practice JSª drew their concept for the 59-room space from the sensory experience of being at a threshold. Visual contrasts and ambient spatial distinctions define the Hilton Curio Collection property, developed by Origen Inmuebles.

With locations from Lagos to Malaga to Tuscon, Hilton’s Curio Collection is over 60 properties strong. While the destinations under this label are supported by the global hospitality company, individual hoteliers are able to retain their independent branding. In Hotel Umbral’s case, the aesthetic origin point was the building itself: constructed in 1924, Edificio España is located in the heart of Mexico City. The iconic structure, operational for many years, came to be neglected – until Hotel Umbral moved in.

JSª and NOMAH’s design harmonizes the old with the new, preserving the existing character of the Edificio España while introducing contemporary elements. The focus of the collaborators was on creating a sensory spatial experience for guests, one that promotes versatility and intimacy. Corridors were a dominate feature in the existing structure and they were used to the functional benefit of Hotel Umbral’s architectural programme.

‘The interiors are arranged to create a space with contrasting light and colors,’ explains a spokesperson for NOMAH, ‘letting guests experience and experiment with their senses: from dark to light; bustle to tranquility.’ To go into their rooms, visitors cross a gold-framed entryway, where they find a ‘dark and mysterious’ interior. This umbral leads to a sleeping area, bright and spacious. The juxtaposed interiors are aligned in their minimalism and scenographic nature.

Flexible furnishings make it possible for visitors to transform areas into workspaces or leisure environments, and back again. The bespoke pieces, designed by NOMAH, are inspired by 1920s functionalism.

In our upcoming July/August 2020 issue, we dedicate our Lookbook section to moody, ambient hospitality spaces designed in the same vein as Hotel Umbral. Don’t miss out on reading about the rising aesthetic trend – Frame 135 will be available for purchase in our webstore from 1 July.