Zicatela House, a fortress open to the sky

Zicatela House, made by architect Ludwig Godefroy in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, evokes the ancient Aztec temples that surround the spaces of outdoor life with robust stone monoliths. On this occasion, the holiday house materializes the limits through turns of concrete, which give it that aspect of strength.


A home to spend the weekend in calm and tranquility, outside of Mexico City and next on the beach were the client’s premises. Zicatela House, is conceived as a refuge of austere and insular character, away from the typology of beach house.


The building is on the top of a hill, also having mountains and fields of crops on one side, and on the other side of the beach. This duality of context corresponds to architecture, robust as mountains and open to the sky and to interior free spaces such as the beach.



Zicatela House builds a bunker dwelling, where privacy, as well as spatial continuity and materiality, is its greatest virtue



Zicatela House emits a bunker image to the outside, where the opening of holes is minimal. The pyramidal interior generates private spaces that expand towards the sky, the only permanent element in time.


The only two openings to the outside are carried out through large wooden doors, allowing access. On one side the garage and in the center a large door rotates its central axis to give access to the heart of the house.


The materiality seen of achieves absolute continuity. The interior spaces are interspersed with the exteriors in such a way that one can not understand without the other. There are no distinctions in coatings or finishes, only the geometry and control of the light input provides the nuances necessary to qualify each room.


The spatial fluidity allows through rooms, garden and pool, almost everything at the same time. The fragmentation of Zicatela House in smaller rooms enhances the scale in a certain sense, giving a feeling of even greater housing.


Furniture design by  Emmanuel Picault.

Photographs by Rory Gardiner.