Hidden away north of Merida, the capital of the Mexican state of the Yucatán, known for its Mayan ruins, is the Casa Chaaltun, a residential home that is defined by elevated walls with marble slats that form a canopy and blends with its natural surroundings.


Designed by Mexican arch firm Tescala, the structure’s material makeup consist of stone, marble and chukum, a finish made from tree resin and limestone, all of which were used in contemporary fashion.

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A number of elements are also based on the area’s natural forms, particularly the swimming pool and deck at the heart of the residence, which Tescala Architects modeled after the sunken water-filled limestone pits and caves found around the Yucatán peninsula.

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“The swimming pool’s ambiance resembles a cenote,” said Tescala Architects. “A limestone wall emerges from the water, and looking up you’re surrounded by the marble lattice facade floating in the second level.”

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With the home divided into three areas- private, social and service. Inside featuring slatted marble walls in the social spaces while the other two are defined by thick wall running south to east to offer shade and enclose more private areas.

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“The volumes’ typology is characterized by its facades,” the studio said. “The solid volumes are formed by a series of offset walls, allowing crossed ventilation and a great natural light without thermal gain. In contrast, the floating volumes feature a marble lattice facade, allowing diffuse light and shadowing the interior.”

One of the slatted volumes is elevated to provide shade for a dining area, and on the level above, the walls encase a sitting area and incorporate large doors that lead to a terrace and overlooks a golf course.

On the other side of the pool, the second volume is elevated above glass walls, that brings plenty of sunlight into the living and dining room, although the kitchen is placed in the private volume at the front of the residence.

Rounding out the layout are two bathrooms with bedrooms on the ground floor of the fourth block, while another bedroom and a lounge are placed on the floor above, followed by five outdoor spaces planted with trees placed in between those rooms.