The FabLab network – just like in a fairy tale

Inspiration from nature and flowing shapes characterise the FabLab in the Mexican jungle of Tulum. An extraordinary place for creativity, innovation and boundless imagination.

The global FabLab network is a creative project that connects different cultures and encourages collaboration and co-creation. It serves the exchange of craftspeople, artists and creatives. The aim is to learn from each other’s mistakes and successes in order to promote innovation and adapt tried and tested methods.

This innovative concept is also the aim of Roth Architecture’s FabLab in Tulum, Mexico. More precisely: in the jungle on the Mexican peninsula of Yucatán. The aim is to develop original, environmentally friendly solutions for everyday needs. “We want to bring craftsmanship into a digital age,” says the studio.


Fabulous office

The FabLab is, there’s no other way to put it, fabulous in the truest sense of the word and, at first glance, anything but an office. It is more reminiscent of a fairytale forest, with fairy houses and enchanted figures. For a brief moment, the inner child awakens and is ready to discover everything there is to discover.

The walls seem to flow through the forest, some of the windows look like eyes or resemble the patterns of butterfly wings. And it’s true, the local team of architects from Roth Architecture drew inspiration for this extraordinarily creative idea from the shapes of insect wings, among other things. A creative laboratory that follows what the architects call the “artistic will of nature”.

Hand in hand with nature

Steel, concrete and palm fibres form the structure of the FabLab. The rooms are designed as individual buildings in order to adapt to the surroundings. It looks as if the rooms are growing out of the ground in a bulbous shape. Trees and plants complement the building, whose flowing form “seems to partially wrap around the trees”.

Nature is also incorporated into the interior spaces: plant beds and open atriums through which trees grow out are complemented by natural materials in the building structure. A dome made of woven tree trunks and vines, windows made of translucent resins and palm fibres, natural materials that have a fantastic effect.

Roth Architecture
Trees grow in the FabLab, covered by …
FabLab Roth Architecture
… a dome made of tree trunks and vines.

Boundless imagination

For Roth Architecture, the FabLab is a creative laboratory – crafts, technologies and research will take place here. Experts can come together here and use the rooms as an office and “makerspace”. It’s about progress and sustainability, exploring new paths. And that is exactly what the building radiates – anything is possible with enough imagination and enough new tools.

There will be rooms with various 3D printers, for example a 3D printer for clay, rooms for thermoforming machines, laser cutters, water jet cutting machines and a room for a six-axis robotic arm. Everything an architect’s heart desires seems to be catered for here in order to promote innovation and adapt the tried and tested.


In these rooms, surrounded by nature, imagination knows no bounds. Harmonious irregularities characterise the style of the building. Everything here is unique, with the individual shapes differing slightly from one another to create this fantastic overall picture. All modelled on nature, which served as inspiration for the architects.

Text: Eva Schroeder
Bilder: Roth Architecture