Casa GD

Casa GD

reyes ríos + larraín studio
Mérida, Yucatan, Mexico | View Map
Project Year
Private Houses
Pim Schalkwijk

Casa GD

reyes ríos + larraín studio as Architects

We designed this 800 m2 single-family dwelling for a flat, 2,000 m2 site without significant vegetation in a suburban neighborhood in the north of Merida. The home was designed for a young family of five with a clear directive to foster family cohabitation and communication. We proposed that the program should allow for flexible, simultaneous and independent uses in the communal spaces, which are visually linked to each other. In this way, the home enables its inhabitants to adapt to the changing demands of the upcoming phases of growth and development, with the provision of both individual and shared spaces.

The nucleus of the project brings together the communal areas, organized around a broad terrace that articulates the family lounge, dining room, games room, kitchen-breakfast room and a studio, as well as the pool. The remainder of the program is contained within an L-shaped plan that responds to the conditions of the north-south oriented, rectangular corner site. It is aligned to benefit from breezes on the east and north sides, and provide protection from the sun on the west and south sides. Gardened patios were introduced to regulate the scale, channel air flows and provide green buffers for the light, allowing the exterior to penetrate the interior of the home on all sides. These internal patios, like green voids, create their own microclimate that, together with the natural cross-ventilation they promote, reduce the need for artificial air conditioning to a minimum.

The studio, three bedrooms and gym open not only onto these inner patios but also the large 1,000 m2 garden we designed and planted for the most part with local species to create appropriate conditions for sustainable growth. The palette of materials and finishes is limited: Mexican marble for all interior floors, and semi-hardwood to distinguish certain floors and for decking and doors. The windows are electro-painted aluminum, the same color as all the metal elements, including the lightweight structures with roofs of local bamboo. The concrete walls, which employ kancabred earth in the place of artificial pigments, function to emphasize light and shadow, and as a counterpoint with their colored render, a prime finishing material used for all the façades that imbues the building with haptic warmth.

The technique and proportions of the material used for the natural kancabred earth concrete walls are the result of our ongoing applied research and constitute our particular contribution to contemporary architecture in Yucatan. For this project, we experimented for the first time with the use of corrugated sheets of asbestos as a mold, creating a surface that responds to the abundant light and strong luminosity of the region.

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