Las Hamacas House

1994

Architect

Alejandro Medina

Descriptive memory

This is a summer house on the beaches of Chicxulub, Yucatán. Facing north, it has four bedrooms (each with its own bathroom), living/dining area, family room, kitchen and service area.

I designed this to evoke a traditional Progreso beach house, that is, with a porch made of original early 20th-century French tiles over sapota tree columns—the same wood Maya architects used on their buildings’ lintels.  This space is perfect for hanging hammocks (hamacas) outside the bedrooms, giving the house its name.

The porch brings together the house’s spaces through a system of pivoting wooden doors with shutters; this gives all the spaces plenty of ventilation from winds coming both from the north (sea) and south (land).

The shutter door system, painted green, contrasts with the house’s blue tile floor. This combination of primary and secondary color evokes the color of “cayucos,” as the local fishermen’s boats are known.