Gabriela House responds to local climate and culture in Merida, Mexico
This little concrete house built in the city of Merida, Mexico, is joyful to look at and most certainly to use as well, thanks to its well-balanced proportions and cheap & smart solutions that adhere to the local climatic and cultural conditions. Designed as a single family home by TACO taller de arquitectura contextual, the Gabriela House was measured with a human scale, and security and climatic considerations, energy efficiency, and a tight budget in mind.
Since the building is tucked away from the street, the plot features a small square between the two neighbouring houses. This space is for public use, and references an ancient Yucatan architectural tradition that enhances neighbourhood safety. In front of the entrance area, a water element was set up. Besides the decorative function, it is essential for mosquito control and also helps with regularizing temperature and oxygen levels.
The interior’s allotment is likewise practical. The house is divided into three basic sections: a communal one featuring the kitchen and dining room concentrated to a single space, an intermediate part for the bathroom, laundry, and closet functions, and finally the relax area with the bedroom. Since the climate allows for open surfaces, the facade of social and private sections feature concrete latticework that, besides being visually pleasing, ensures air ventilation and protects the house from rain, sunshine, and vandalism.
The semi-open design plan is present in other forms as well: both the bedroom and the kitchen-dining area have semi-outdoor terraces at their rear end that work as extensions of the rooms. Depending on the weather and the desired privacy factor, the extension can be closed down by glass doors.
Material-wise, the architects operated with basic elements: pre-cast concrete was the key material, which works as a neutral background to the furnishings, that, with pops of vivid colours and ethnic patterns, take a nod to the local cultural heritage.
Photos: Leo Espinosa
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