Concrete home

Em-Estudio has built a holiday home on a steep hillside in Oaxaca, Mexico, from coloured concrete chosen to blend into the rocky mountainside.

Named La Extraviada, the house overlooks Mermejita beach in Mazunte, a small seaside town on southern Mexico’s Pacific coast.

La Extraviada by Em-Estudio
Top: an aerial view of La Extraviada. Above: the house hugs the mountainside
Mexico City-based architecture firm Em-Estudio used polished cement mixed with brown pigments for La Extraviada’s walls to camouflage the house with its lush natural setting.

“The shape and orientation of the project is determined by the topography of the land, adapting to it and trying to make the house look like it has always been there,” said Em-Estudio architect Ivan Esqueda.

“All the materials used were thought of as elements that blend with the mountain, like stones that balance on a hillside,” he told Dezeen.

The volumes designed by Em-Estudio are concrete
Em-Studio framed the staircase with stone walls
La Extraviada is made up of two concrete volumes that are independent of one another but joined by a pathway.

The main volume is accessed through an entrance at the top of the plot, next to a private car park.

The stone entrance to La Extraviada
The vestibule-patio is designed to keep cool
A staircase, sheltered by exterior walls to trap cool air, leads to a stone vestibule-patio and the house’s front door.

On this level, there are dining and living areas, as well as a kitchen, pantry and laundry room featuring interior design by Esqueda’s wife, Gala Sánchez-Renero.

Interiors by Gala Sánchez-Renero
A living space with doors that open on each side
Covered by a wooden roof clad in clay tiles, the living space opens out onto a long, sea-facing swimming pool. An adjacent stone roof terrace with clusters of local potted plants looks towards the same view.

Enclosed in stacked cubed structures are two bedrooms and two bathrooms at lower levels, each with its own patio that are smaller versions of the terrace.

Em-Estudio designed the project
Wooden shutters can open to the air
La Extraviada’s rooms are protected by floor-to-ceiling wooden shutters that guard against extreme weather, but when open, take advantage of Oaxaca’s frequently sunny climate.

“All the rooms were designed considering the cross-flow of air for keeping the spaces fresh,” explained Esqueda.

“Each room has a ceiling fan and wooden windows that open fully, facing the main source of air coming from the sea and patios.”

A roof terrace with sea views by Em-Estudio
The swimming pool is sea-facing
A staircase leading to two rooms in the cubed structures is accessed from one side of the roof terrace.

On the opposite side of the terrace is the stone pathway which connects the main block to La Extraviada’s second volume that can be independently accessed.

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