IK LAB: Tulum, Mexico

Round windows set into the massive, geometrically patterned dome illuminate the gallery, serving as portals to the surrounding jungle and sky.


Deep in the heart of the Mayan jungle along the sparkling Caribbean Sea, IK LAB, a new pioneering art gallery, has opened in an unusual place: inside an eco-inspired luxury resort and spa called Azulik. Designer Jorge Eduardo Neira Serkel, owner and CEO of Azulik, and Santiago R. Guggenheim, Director of IK LAB, promise to bring the finest contemporary art to Mexico – and given the surroundings they just might succeed.

Guggenheim envisions the space as providing unprecedented cultural experiences for both Tulum’s local community and international visitors. With IK LAB’s environmentally-conscious design, a bespoke circle of artists, and avant-garde residency program, combined with the Yucatan peninsula’s abundant nature and rich spiritual heritage, the gallery is pushing the boundaries of the art experience – and serves as a model for future communities.

Visitors enter through IK LAB’s wooden and glass doors (reaching approximately 13 ’tall) and are invited to walk barefoot through the gallery. External noise is muted within the interior, causing the sounds of each step to reverberate and echo throughout the space, amplifying this sense of surreal dimensions. The cool, polished cement transitions to the warm, raw wooden floors made from Bejuco, a vine-like native plant.

With any luck, this majestic space just might redefine the traditional white-cube, gallery-visiting experience.

IK LAB, 2018. COURTESY OF FERNANDO ARTIGAS ARCHITECT / PHOTOGRAPHER

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