Architect Ludwig Godefroy takes to the coastal area of La Punta Zicatela, Mexico to build a serene retreat dubbed House TO, or Casa TO. Sculpted in concrete, the architecture marks an oasis along the Pacific Ocean where visitors are invited to be immersed in a ‘state of total contemplation.’ Programmed as a boutique hotel with just nine suites, House TO is a ‘manifesto of hospitality for introspection.’ It draws contemporary nomads from around the world due to its proximity to the Zicatela Ecological Community. These travelers commonly seek the vast beaches for surfing or even meditating. The group notes that many often visit hoping to help release turtles in the local sanctuaries.
Its name reflects its contemplative essence, as it emerges from a reflection on the concepts of house and temple, a duality that is summed up in the idea of Casa TO, Templo Oaxaqueño. Its sensory imprint is evident as it fills the senses with green views, natural sounds, and tranquility that invites undisturbed observation.
The interior views create an oasis enclosed by the sky, the weight of the walls, and the vegetation of climbing plants and fruit trees including bananas and passion fruit. In this area, measuring 600 square meters, Godefroy interweaves aesthetics and functionality, emphasizing the honesty of the textures of the raw materials, such as concrete, steel, clay, and wood.
Architects say: The structure evokes the lattice pattern of two historic waterworks of timeless beauty, the Basilica Cistern —Yerebatan Sarayi— in Istanbul, dating from the 6th century, and the Hornsey Wood Reservoir in London‘s Finsbury Park, built in the 19th century. Privacy against the exposed is evident. Through the interior views, a haven is created bordered by the sky, the forcefulness of the walls, and by the vegetation with shoots of vines and banana and passion fruit trees. In its 600-square-meter surface, Godefroy intertwines aesthetics and functionality, emphasizing the honesty of the textures of raw materials, such as concrete, steel, clay, and wood.
Photography by Jaime Navarro