Lines are blurred between the indoors and outdoors in this modern retreat built around a 100-year-old tree.
When conceptualizing a modern and functional residence for their clients in Mérida, Mexico, local firm Taller Estilo Arquitectura imagined a home that would connect so intimately with the environment that it would become a part of it. It was immediately clear that the residents, a young couple, would need to overhaul the existing home on the property to make it functional and relevant to their lifestyle. Above all, the couple requested a dynamic home, open to regional, climatic, and cultural elements. Taller Estilo Arquitectura embraced these requests, creating a series of interconnected indoor-outdoor spaces that encourage dialogue with nature.
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Handcrafted green cement tile floors are used in the kitchen and in many living spaces in the home. Honed granite counters, Tzalam wood cabinets, and GE Profile appliances complete the airy space.
Eye-catching patterned tile offers a bold focal point in the living room. Antique midcentury chairs and a credenza furnish the space. In the living room and beyond, the architects purposefully avoided an open floor plan in favor of a collection of traditionally defined spaces. “Every space has its own character and belongs to a whole simultaneously,” says project architect Atahualpa Hernandez Salazar.
The dining room enjoys practical proximity to the kitchen, and direct access to the outdoors. Unanimously, the team of architects’ favorite part of the home is “where the kitchen, dining room, and patio are all together—where the interior and exterior are in conjunction.” Reclaimed midcentury office chairs from IGSA and polished aluminum and glass walls complete the space.
“Every space of the house has a close relationship with the exterior, which creates the sensation of living outdoors with all the comfort and advantages of living indoors,” says architect Atahualpa Hernandez Salazar.
Although the entire original structure of the house was preserved, an east-side addition adds space and is a distinctly modern counterpoint to the original home. The new construction, including the master bedroom, curves organically around the sapote tree, and the tree, says Salazar, “becomes the main character.”
In the upper floor bathroom, streamlined materials highlight the unique and irregular shape of the space. White polished concrete is used for both walls and floors, and frosted Venetian tiles are used in the shower area. Tropical Tzalam wood adds warmth to the space.
The terrace deck, also part of modern addition, adds outdoor living space to the home’s upper floor. Sapote hardwood makes up the deck, which connects intimately with the home’s own nearby tree. Bamboo floors in the adjacent master bedroom offer tonal contrast, and a stainless steel and custom plastic rocking chair accents the deck space.
The grand and stately tree is the unchallenged star of the backyard. The round pool, made of made of white polished concrete and handcrafted cement floor tile, smartly pairs with the curved, east-side elevation of the home.