Called La Casa del Sapo, or Toad’s House, the “timeless” minimalist design was created as a reflection on life’s necessities.
The local practice was inspired by the small cabin that American writer and philosopher David Thoreau designed for himself in Massachusetts.
Arranged with a butterfly plan, the two blocks of the home comprise a bar-style kitchen and an en-suite bedroom facing sunrise to the east, and a large en-suite bedroom block facing the sunset to the west.
This layout creates a series of triangular patio spaces, with a large central terrace overlooking the sea to the south and two more intimate spaces to the north, divided and shaded by the eastern block’s high concrete wall.
“The spacing between [the blocks] shows the sea, the beauty of the Oaxaca coast, and creates flexible space for the one living in it, who will adapt in its own personal way,” said the practice.
The south-facing patio is defined by a paving of herringbone terracotta bricks and is sheltered from the sun by a steel and branch canopy. Rough stone paving has been used to finish the shaded northern areas, which are dotted with cacti and trees.
These open spaces, including a swimming pool at the end of the southern patio, are intended not just for the owners of the home, but as areas for hosting friends and the local community.
“La Casa del Sapo is everyone’s house, it has become a gathering space…a family home, a shelter, and inclusive space; a safe space,” the practice said.
A folding wooden door lets the kitchen area open out onto the central patio, and large folding doors at the end of each block allow the interiors to be opened up to look out towards the sea.
The communal gathering spaces continue to the roof of the home, with a staircase on the eastern block leading up to a terracotta-tiled terrace looking out to sea and sheltered by a high parapet.
Both externally and internally, the building’s concrete structure has been left unfinished and exposed on all surfaces. It is complemented by concrete counters, shelving and concrete bases for the home’s beds.
Previous projects by Espacio 18 include a townhouse in Puebla designed with Mexican practice Cueto, which features a bright internal courtyard and roof terrace.
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