Casa Maca | Workshop: Diseño y Construcción

Mérida / Mexico / 2021

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Located a few steps from one of the most emblematic avenues of the city of Mérida, Casa Maca is a historic former residence from the Porfiriato era. Visitors are transported to the past, where they are easily captivated by the vitality of the structure’s colors and textures.


After removing any damaged finishings during restoration, the excellent quality of workmanship with which the original walls were built is easy to appreciate. The original, freshly exposed stone masonry was preserved and framed by lightly colored moldings, as though they are their own works of art.


The historic ceilings located over the first corridor (where the living and TV rooms are located) are constructed with metal beams and wooden joists and were restored in the same tones as the moldings, obtaining a neutral palette. This leaves the role of protagonist to the colorful pasta tiles found on the floors and to the stone texture on the walls.


In the second corridor, both the first bedroom and the dining room are found. Dining room visitors are welcomed by a double-height ceiling, under which there was originally a mezzanine with a room on the upper floor. It was decided to demolish these elements in the design process with the aim of maximizing spatial sensations. However, the doors and windows that were a part of the original design were left, providing a tangible witness to the space’s origins.


 Due to the fact that the wall where the doors and windows are located was tampered with numerous times and with various materials over the years, it was impossible to continue with the same exposed stone treatment that was used on the original wall. Instead, chukum plaster was used to unify the wall, applying the same idea to an added upper wall, perpendicular to it and to the ceiling.


A small covered terrace, ideal for sitting down to relax, connects us to the kitchen, which is a mid-century annex of the property. Practically the entirety of the original structure was preserved; one of the only exceptions to this is the latticework found on the upper part of the terrace. This was added as a reinterpretation of the balcony railing that was found on the second level bedroom, harmonizing perfectly with the Art Deco style found on the transoms above the original doors.


The inner courtyard intentionally breaks with the neutral colors found in the historical part of the house. The courtyard’s intense Mexican pink ties the colors of the carpentry with the tropical vegetation that surrounds the space. The stone floor symbolically links the interior with the exterior as it surrounds the chukum pool, creating the perfect environment to enjoy the warm Yucatecan climate.


The new construction of Casa Maca is best described as modern yet pure thanks to the blending of contemporary and historic elements such as the pasta tile floors and replicating the design of the original doors. Another bedroom is located on the ground floor where it connects to a private garden, the central patio and a covered terrace.


On the second level, an iron and bamboo-covered terrace with views of the garden and pool precedes the third bedroom. The room’s antique, white pasta tiles will be familiar, as they were also used in the second bedroom and to border the first corridor. The color on the walls is taken from the tone found on the kitchen island tiles, offering a link to the various elements found throughout the space.


Casa Maca allows us to travel back in time to a place where we can enjoy the historical values of its architecture while simultaneously surprising us with the energy, livliness and joy of its colors and textures. The structure makes the most of its spaces, which were designed specifically for the enjoyment of those who visit it.


FIRM: Workshop, Diseño y Construcción


TEAM: Francisco Bernés Aranda, Fabián Gutiérrez Cetina, Isabel Bargas Cicero, Alejandro Bargas Cicero


PHOTOGRAPHY: Manolo R. Solís y Tamara Uribe


LOCATION: Mérida, Yucatán, México


YEAR: 2021


 


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Ubicada a escasos pasos de una de las avenidas más emblemáticas de la ciudad de Mérida, Casa Maca es una antigua casona de la época del porfiriato que nos transporta al pasado y nos cautiva con la vitalidad de sus colores y texturas.


Al quitar los acabados en mal estado durante los trabajos de restauración se pudo apreciar la excelente calidad de mano de obra con la que se construyeron los muros originales, por lo que se decidió conservar la mampostería de piedra aparente, enmarcándola con molduras en colores claros, como si de una obra de arte se tratara.


Los plafones históricos con vigas metálicas y viguetillas de madera de la primera crujía, (donde se encuentra la sala y la sala de TV) se restauraron en las mismas tonalidades de las molduras, obteniendo una paleta de colores neutros y crudos donde los protagonistas fueran los coloridos tapetes de mosaico de pasta en pisos y la textura de piedra en muros.


Al seguir el recorrido hacia el comedor y a la recámara en la segunda crujía, nos sorprende un espacio a doble altura, donde originalmente existía un entrepiso con una habitación en planta alta. En el proceso de diseño se decide demoler estos elementos, con el objetivo de maximizar las sensaciones espaciales, pero dejando como testigos tangibles de esta segunda historia las puertas y ventanas que formaban parte de la recámara.


Debido a que el muro donde se encuentran las puertas y ventanas fue intervenido en diferentes épocas y con diferentes materiales, resultó imposible seguir con el mismo tratamiento de piedra que se utilizó en el resto de los muros originales, por lo que se decidió utilizar un acabado de chukum para unificarlo, aplicando la misma idea a un muro superior añadido, perpendicular a éste y al plafón.


Una pequeña terraza techada, ideal para sentarse a “tomar el fresco” nos comunica a la cocina, que es un anexo de la propiedad de mediados de siglo, se preservó prácticamente toda la estructura original con la excepción de las celosías en la parte superior, que se agregaron como una reinterpretación del barandal del balcón con el que contaba la recamara del segundo nivel y que armonizan a la perfección con el estilo Art Decó de los fijos en las puertas restauradas.


El patio central pretende romper por completo con los colores neutros del interior de las crujías originales, con un rosa mexicano intenso, resaltando el color de la carpintería y de la vegetación tropical que rodea al espacio. El piso de piedra enlaza de manera simbólica el interior con el exterior y envuelve a la alberca de chukum, creando el ambiente perfecto para relajarse en el cálido clima yucateco.


Con una volumetría moderna y pura, el edificio posterior se presenta con una lectura contemporánea, integrando ciertos materiales y elementos de la estructura histórica, como los pisos de pasta y el diseño de las puertas originales. Este espacio alberga en planta baja una habitación, un pequeño jardín privado y conecta al patio central y a una terraza techada.


En el segundo nivel, nos recibe un asoleadero con una estructura de herrería y bahareque con vistas al jardín y a la alberca y antecede a la tercera habitación de la propiedad. Ambas recámaras cuentan con recubrimientos de mosaico de pasta en color blanco antiguo que es el mismo utilizado en los bordes de las primeras crujías, el color en muros se toma de los tonos de los mosaicos en la isla de la cocina, enlazando los elementos y los espacios alegóricamente.


Casa Maca nos permite adentrarnos al pasado, disfrutar de los valores históricos de su arquitectura al mismo tiempo que nos sorprende con la energía, vivacidad y alegría de sus colores y texturas, aprovechando al máximo sus espacios diseñados específicamente para el disfrute de quien la visite.

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    Located a few steps from one of the most emblematic avenues of the city of Mérida, Casa Maca is a historic former residence from the Porfiriato era. Visitors are transported to the past, where they are easily captivated by the vitality of the structure’s colors and textures. After removing any damaged finishings during restoration, the excellent quality of workmanship with which the original walls were built is easy to appreciate. The original, freshly exposed stone masonry was...

    Project details
    • Year 2021
    • Work finished in 2021
    • Status Completed works
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