‘casa coral’ by recoveco originates from the mexican wilderness
Lies in the Mexican wilderness, 15 minutes from Tulum, ‘Casa Coral’ emerges as a monolithic structure that has infiltrated a meditative ambience. Local practice Recoveco completed apartment set on a 240 sqm untamed lot with native tropical trees dotting the area.
“Casa Coral” extends over two floors and consists of two volumes separated by an access hall. The first volume houses the bedroom/study on the ground floor and a terrace on the top level. The second block has on the ground floor a living room, kitchen, dining bar, laundry room, guest bathroom, terrace and pool, while the first floor houses two rooms with independent bathrooms. Both volumes are closely linked to the garden, blurring the boundaries of the site with its tropical-inspired design.
all images © Ariadna Polo
Investigation of strength and porosity
The concept behind the project is inspired by corals as natural sanctuaries and habitats.embracing a language that, through voids, nooks and crannies and porosities, leads us to inhabit a natural sculpture, a permeable and monolithic structure in the middle of the jungle.” writes the Recoveco team.
With this in mind, the architects resorted to the neutral gray tones of polished cement to build Casa Coral. As daylight floods the site, the monolith appears to soften, its lustrous surface coming to life. Inside, Recoveco chose a cement pasta floor design due to its importance in the area.
The solidity of the home is complemented by a latticework that spreads across walls and surfaces, evoking the porosity of coral reefs while ‘absorbing’ the structural, tropical environment. With these features established in ‘Casa Coral’, light and shade, privacy and exposure enter into a constant duality.
Structurally, Recoverco focused on maintaining the home’s social program while maximizing its opening to the garden. Most of the load falls on a single steel column for greater structural integrity with the fewest number of supports. From there, a clearing of ten meters is created to separate the garden from the building, giving flexibility to the ground floor and dynamism to the upper floor. This gap is supported by a concrete beam with 8 1 inch rods.
‘Casa Coral’ is located 15 minutes from Tulum
recoveco on the subject of sustainability
“Because this site has little intervention and little or no urbanization, our responsibility has been to minimize the environmental impact through passive solutions, reduce energy consumption through proper orientation and ventilation in each of the spaces, and integrate comprehensive water management. The material proposal focused on integrating local building techniques and systems, respecting the hand of local craftsmen and thereby achieving an integration into the urban context. The pasta base, grilles, sinks, lamps and furniture were made in local workshops, minimizing the import of raw materials from other countries and creating a positive economic impact in the region. explains the practice.
Since there is no connection to sewage or drinking water on site, Recoveco has developed a water extraction, filter and circulation system. Black water is collected in an oxygen pit, gray water is channeled into the garden for filtering and recirculation, and rainwater is collected in a medium-deep well where residents later withdraw it for irrigation.
Breaking up the solid volume with latticework
The site was originally an untamed land full of native tropical plants