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Cometa House

Balancing Built and Natural

Taller | Mauricio Rocha + Gabriela Carrillo |

Cometa House
By Diana Carta -

The contemporary-architecture project by Taller | Mauricio Rocha + Gabriela Carrillo | on the southernmost tip of Mexico’s Pacific coast fits effortlessly into the natural and historic features of the landscape. Located at the edge of a nature reserve and originally known as El Cerro Sagrado, the area was once the site of an Aztec fort and subsequently a pirate haven. The building stands at the tip of a promontory known as the “Cometa” that separates two ocean shores – the Mazunte and Mermejita beaches – to which it has direct access.

The project appears to address the tension between the site’s different features, achieving a balance between them. Its layered horizontal composition follows the gradient, the manmade seconding the lay of the land to create a magnetic amalgam between the two.

The open and semi-open platform areas connecting the two end towers in local stone are natural places for socialization and enjoying the views. The focal point of the project is the large thatched roof structure in local timber known as a palapa, the main community space. Open on all four sides and linking the two stone towers, this extensive, shaded area is divided into a series of different zones accommodating a series of different activities – a design that also creates a sense of intimacy in a large space. A rectangular area, it is closed at one end by a terracotta counter and at the other, by a volcanic rock hearth. Between them lie a living zone, then a dining area, followed by an outdoor kitchen. This latter overlooks a second kitchen area – again an outdoor space in the rural Mexican tradition – where guests can watch the chefs at work.

The Cometa House project highlights the architects predilection for local materials, which they combine with state-of-the-art technology to ensure context-specific, environment-friendly construction at an acceptable budget. Clay and wood have...

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