On the Puerto Escondido's coast, in the northwest region of Oaxaca, Mexico, lies a family vacation home, borrowing design inspiration from the region's vernacular.
Casa Cova, designed by Mexico based practice, Anonimous, sits just 70 metres from the coast, commanding spectacular views of the coast, and responds magnificently to the landscape. Designed as a cojoined vacation home for two families, the house features private areas for each extended family, connected through a shared public space for entertainment.
Inspired by the massive chambers of Milta archaeological ruins and the private passages commonly found in the pre-colonial regional architecture, the house feels both grand and intimate in its setting. Shaped by the landscape, the house responds to the prevailing winds and majestic views of the coast.
Two main entrances at the front mark the access to the house, arriving at a large central volume. The lattice wall at the entrance helps ventilate the large common space and create an exciting light pattern throughout the day. This central volume's high ceiling brings a sense of monumentality to space that contains a living room, dining, and a bar. This space also holds some of the utility areas of the house, tucked away on the sides. The common area is topped with a 100 ft. long 'Palapa', a regional cover technique, made using dried palm tree leaves. This allows the space to cool down significantly and has provision at the top of the roof for the hot air to escape.
A series of parallel walls create the private quarters for the two families, framing the views of the ocean. The concrete has been used extensively to counter the air's salinity and the sun’s intensity. The area is well known for floods, locally known as 'mar de fondo', due to which the house has been lifted 5ft. from the ground.
The parallel concrete walls create a series of interlocking open courtyards, which create views and entry points to the bedrooms. This arrangement provides the sea breeze to circulate throughout the house and helps in creating comfortable temperatures inside. All rooms are arranged around a central pool, which is designed as a set of alternating planes which contains shaded areas looking out to the ocean.
"The architectural design of Casa Cova seeks to lead and frame the views from various angles, starting from the main central volume along with the two main arms of the building into the horizon of the views and sunsets in the Pacific Ocean," explains Anonimous.
The house has been designed to work with the local context. Parota wood has been used for carpentry throughout the house and features tables by sculptor artist, Héctor Álvarado. The home also features upholstery by Mexican designer, Tural MX (whose mission is to create 100 per cent Mexican textiles). To further integrate the house with the surrounding, local low maintenance vegetation is used to develop close bonds with Nature. The design is grounded in tropicality and has the spirit of an Oaxacan infrastructure.
Team: Alfonso Jimenez (principal), Bárbara Trujillo, Mónica Ochoa, Francisco Martínez, Ana Cristina Fernández, Lucrecia Brero, Joaquín Ríos
Media, marketing: María Luisa Guzmán
Construction: Juan Carlos Stefanoni
Engineering: Juan Carlos Steffanoni
Landscape: Fritz Sigg “Ambiente arquitectos”.
Consultants: Martín Leal “ Lampe” – Lighting Design
Photo Credits: Rafael Gamo
Architecture goes beyond the contemporary moment we live in.
anonimous was founded as an act in which the attitude of a project is defined; taking the responsibility of reading and interpreting the different condition surrounding a Project, such as, nature, context, humans, society, sustainability and economy.
We interrogate and research remarking the principles of liberty, relationship with nature, dialogue with the context, sensorial fullness and the natural coexistence of man and spaciousness.
Architecture is created by the relationships that human beings are developing with the place and then with the constructed space.