When the Museo Jumex opened to major fanfare in Mexico City a few years ago, observers compared the sawtooth roof of the David Chipperfield–designed building to a crown. And why not? After all, the project was the brainchild of an international art-world prince, Mexican collector and patron Eugenio López. A scion of the fruit-juice juggernaut Jumex, López has devoted the past two decades to assembling what is often called Latin America’s largest private art trove, while presiding over the Fundación Jumex Arte Contemporáneo, which encompasses not only the museum but also an array of philanthropic activities.
López, who serves on a number of museum boards, travels regularly, dividing his time between homes in Los Angeles and Mexico City, entertaining streams of friends and colleagues wherever he goes. While L.A. is his main base, he now spends more time in Mexico City, and he recently traded his longtime apartment in the Polanco district for a 16,000-square-foot house in the posh Lomas de Chapultepec neighborhood. The new residence offers López space to display more of his roughly 3,300 modern and contemporary works—among them large-scale pieces by Richard Serra, Rudolf Stingel, and Ellsworth Kelly.
A modernist three-level concrete structure built in the 1970s, the house attracted López with its “good bones, large rooms, and great light,” he says. “Plus, the layout was ideal. The downstairs was perfect for entertaining, while upstairs I could create separate private quarters. You shut two doors and you’re completely away.”
For the renovations López enlisted Madrid-based designer Luis Bustamante, who had done houses for some of his friends. On the ground floor, Bustamante tailored the spaces to accommodate gatherings of various sizes. At one end is a stunning double-height library that contains about 4,000 volumes, mostly art books and exhibition catalogues. “Eugenio wanted to be surrounded by his books, which he never had enough space to access before,” the designer explains. “When he’s conversing, he often runs off to reference something in a book or an architecture magazine from the ’80s. He is very curious in that sense, with a great cultural awareness.”