ARCHITECTURE PRACTICE

LOS ANGELES, MEXICO CITY, MADRID

OTOCH

LOCATION

Merida, Mexico

YEAR

2024. Under Construction

There there

OTOCH

About

Otoch reveals the layered stories of a 19th century house in Downtown Merida to write a new episode in its enduring narrative. The old stone house was the life-project of Carlos Germán Vazquez who built it through the years, documenting in calendars and literally writing on its walls each of the new layers added to the house—from the addition of a new wall, to the minor change of electric cables, the house becomes an open book for anyone coming to explore it. We come to the house as visitors, taking on the owner’s continued endeavor to write a new chapter, letting the house’s essence and flow guide our design process.

In this spirit, our intervention is conceived as a clearly distinct new layer juxtaposed to the existing colonial-style building, that revisits Yucatan’s ancestral architecture. The stepped arch—a reinterpretation of the Mayan arch—houses the new bedrooms, and filters northern light through a longitudinal clerestory window. When the arched volume touches the existing house, it becomes a half-arch that encloses the bathrooms, welcoming light through the intersection with the old volume. The kitchen becomes the meeting point of old and new, where the concrete surfaces touch the chukum walls, and the new stepped roof opens to the sky. A new pool carved into the ground revitalizes the formerly unused garden, turning it into an outdoor living room. A stepped chimney hides the water cistern and tank, framing the view to the street.

To make each layer clearly legible, the new interventions present a contrasting materiality with the existing house, using a sole material—concrete—differently molded to generate distinct spatial conditions. The resulting home becomes a unique balance between past and present, traditional and original, shadow and light, that welcomes everyone to experience this living narrative.

Client

Private Client

Team

© There There (Monica Lamela) + Mutuo (Jose Herrasti)

Status

Under Construction

Type

Residential

Location

Merida, Mexico

Year

2024. Under Construction

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THERE THERE architecture

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED – 2024