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December 2018




Inca Hernandez, Itzae carrasco, Mario Conde, Alfonso Sodi, Mara Aguilar






Named after a traditional song, Casa Naila honors Oaxaca, exploring new possibilities of how to inhabit the beach respecting the natural and social order of it, using materials from Oaxaca’s rural architecture.
The most important objective was that the project celebrates the bond and the relationship between the family and the site, understanding that the site implies the immediate grounds and surroundings as the weather, location, orientation, the rural communities and the culture of Oaxaca which is one of the most rich and important of Mexican culture, also the project should be a positive factor in the social dynamic of the community, and how the building could be welcome and accepted as part of it. Therefore it was paramount to question the boundaries between the private and public space, evolving the idea of just being a beach house into a space that belongs to the site understanding that it will be experienced by anyone that visits the beach. Considering the limited budget it was important that the house could host the most amount of visitors in the least amount of area. Another important strategy was to make a passive house, that avoided the use of artificial cooling systems


The house belongs to the author and his family. In 2013 they went to live to Puerto Escondido because his office was selected to be the associated architect for Tadao Ando project Casa Wabi. After some time they found this lot of 740 sq/m in Puertecito, located 20 km south of Puerto Escondido Oaxaca, the site presented some extraordinary conditions both physically and culturally. The lot sits adjacent to the beach in two fronts facing south and west and guarded by a rocky point that forms natural ocean pools. The weather is very warm and humid through the most part of the year. Puertecito which is a small rural town is self-governed by their own particular laws, aside or parallel from the Mexican constitution, in which every member of the community needs to work in different tasks like: security, cleaning, education, etc. and functions as a system of barter that preserves an ancient system of government and traditions of the area.

After finishing the Casa Wabi projects, in 2017 they decided to move back to Mexico City and with a limited budget start the construction of Casa Naila
The project was intended to be a vacation house for the family and to make an extra income through vacation rentals, but mostly to be a bond between the family and the Oaxacan coast which became a very important part of their lives in the recent years.


The conceptual process started from the idea of defining two compositional axes, creating a cross shaped patio that articulates the 4 volumes of the project. These volumes were key to achieve an adequate integration between the architecture and its immediate surrounding.
The different angles in plan and section that configure the volumes, were designed with the purpose of allowing the user to have ocean views from any room, and formally merge with the rocky landscape of the beach.
The architectural program is developed both inside and outside, looking for spatial and functional efficiency, where the core of the project takes place by the living areas, connecting the private areas through the central courtyard and the pool. In this way a simple, aesthetic and low maintenance house is achieved, with the capacity to accommodate up to 12 people.
The volumes are made of concrete on its ground floor, in order to direct and frame the views to the south and west. On the first floor, the volumes are made up of wooden frame structures and palm bone wood on the outside, which is used as a traditional construction system in the vernacular houses on the coastal communities.
Due to weather conditions, the orientation of the palm bone and the use of mosquito nets, allows permeability and cross ventilation on the inside. In addition, the palm bone creates interesting shadows and transparencies during the day, and a contrast of lighting at night, perceiving it from afar as a lighthouse.

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