ludwig godefroy’s casa mérida might follow the concrete construction of his zicatela house, but its character is deeply enriched by the mayan heritage of its community. located in mérida, yucatán in mexico, the brutalist home is a hideaway inside the city. its front façade and outer structure is the only remnant of the original building, creating a discrete face for the residence. the plot within is long but narrow as it measures 80 meters in length but only 8 meters in width.
all images by rory gardiner
the 80m-length of the ludwig godefroy-designed casa mérida references the mayan road system of sacbe. it is described as a garden interspersed by rising concrete volumes, which ensure the home benefits from open, light and naturally ventilated interiors. due to its urban location, the site is orchestrated for privacy. the backyard is moved to the front and the kitchen, living room and swimming pool is inverted towards the rear.
contrasting with the original structure’s cream-colored stone perimeter walls, the main volumes of the house is constructed with locally-sourced raw concrete. it forms everything from benches to ceilings and even the three oversized rainwater collectors. at the very end of the property, surrounded by concrete walls itself, a brilliant blue swimming pool plunges below. it is inspired by natural sinkholes in the region – also known as cenotes – which were considered sacred by the mayans.
the raw yet cool, calming character of the concrete is left exposed inside the home. when filled with natural light, it acts as a neutral background for its local furnishings, art and centerpiece fixtures, like its stone bathtub. pine wood is mirrored throughout, ranging from use on its doors and windows to the furniture as well. blue-hued fabrics, such as that used for the sofa, and artwork then mirrors the color as a visual link to its pool.
project name: casa mérida
location: mérida, yucatán, mexico
architect: ludwig godefroy architecture
photography: rory gardiner