Casa Cuxtitali (2015) under construction, drawings and building

Casa Cuxtitali is a project in collaboration with designers Steven van Beijeren and Dirk Gonzalez Veugelers. It concerns the design and realization of a small living room and kitchen in the form of a free-standing building. It is currently being built, within the outskirts of San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico. Traditional building methods within this area are adopted in the design and labor. The earth of the terrain is used to make adobe bricks, made by hand and feet, creating a firmly present wall as essence of the building. The terrain was carefully investigated, which resulted in a few conclusions:

The inner garden is peaceful and flourishing, the views towards the valley and mountains are beautiful… and there is a 99 percent risk that the neighbors will built there third floor whenever they have the money, blocking a big amount of this view. Also the neighbor’s sound system is booming (a very normal thing in the domestic outdoor life of Mexico), on top of that anybody (including the numerous street dogs) can see through the hague of Isbon trees.

These conclusions led to a design with focus on the inner garden. The firm, curving adobe wall is assigned to do its job of insulating sound and providing privacy. Brick walls that are sloping down allow a diagonal view towards the valley and erase some of the dog’s and neighbor’s presence.

Supported and supervised by the Mexican based architect Marlou Veugelers

Curved adobe wall under construction, Mexico, April 2015. Photo: Steven van Bijeren

Sloping wall, June, April 2015

Earth stones drying on the site, Mexico, March 2015