T House by Studio Arquitectos
From the architect. Tulum is known for being a place in the Mexican Caribbean recurrently visited by New Yorkers, among other city dwellers from around the world. It is the antithesis of urban life. Whether at the beach area or the city area, a clearly marked division in Tulum, in either case, visitors have the opportunity to enrich a rural experience of nature, peace and simplicity.
Drawing heavily from this context, T House is a private residence of approximately 262 square meters, in an area of 10 x 50 meters, consisting of three holiday studios in the city of Tulum, Quintana Roo. The client, a fashion designer from New York, wanted a space with an integrated approach to a Caribbean paradise, with many textures, color emphasis and adaptation to the tropical context.
The design process is customized for the client; if the client were to become architectural elements, House T would be its spatial presence. The goal was a composition of volumes and forms, rhythms and textures, surprising the viewer in different corners. Simple and at the same time complex, in a tropical setting that is also elegant (urban elegance). The task was difficult in the aspect of not bringing a bit of New York, but to interpret a New Yorker in the context of Tulum. The lifestyle that the space creates is living barefoot, riding a bike, dressing casual without losing style, and a lot of sensuality.
The experimentation of the finished concrete was based on a series of tests by hand, playing with polishes and pigments, as people of this region are not used to apply them in this area. Not everything was experimentation, there is a constant presence of “pasta flooring”, handmade tiles with decorative patterns, following the color palette of T House, a heritage of buildings from the colonial era strongly seen in the neighboring state of Yucatan, in the peninsula. The joints between materials was a composition based on an inward perspective towards the client, working on the interiors together with him.
Customization reached such a degree that if the volumes are analyzed aerially, they create a “T”. There are some shadows near the pool, creating a “T”. The niche bathroom accessories are openings forming a “T”. The reflection of “come from (New York) City to Tropical Caribbean” (Tulum) is on the polished cement materials surrounded by constant greenery with a longitudinal pool. An important contribution of the natural integration, was the respect of the maximum amount of existing trees; so much so that one of these is a sculpture between the shower and bed of the “Wind” studio as well as their incorporation on the terraces. The strongest contribution of T House is towards the viewer through constant provocations and emotions as one discovers the paths of its spaces.
“Earth” studio: Located on the ground floor, overlooking the access garden and the pool. Social area and separate bedroom. Kitchenette and dining area (“Darth Vader” furniture), living room, laundry closet, bathroom shared with bedroom. The bedroom includes a polished gray concrete furniture that contains both bed and closet, plus a private vanity in the bathroom.
“Wind” studio: Located on the ground floor, overlooking the back garden and the pool. Social areas and attached bedroom. Kitchenette and dining area, polished gray concrete furniture that contains both bed and living room, bathroom and dresser. “Fire” studio: Located upstairs, rear garden views, private terrace and social terrace. Social area and attached bedroom. Kitchenette and dining area, polished gray concrete furniture that contains both bed and living room, bathroom and dresser.
Architects: Studio Arquitectos
Location: Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
Project Area: 262.0 m2
Project Year: 2015
Photographs: Loris Guzzetta, Pablo García Figueroa