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Ludwig Godefroy's Casa TO in Punta Zicatela, Oaxaca, Mexico Photographed by Levi Wells

Project name:
Casa TO
Architecture firm:
Ludwig Godefroy
La Punta Zicatela, Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico
Levi Wells
Principal architect:
Ludwig Godefroy
Design team:
Surreal Estate
Built area:
950 m²
Site area:
600 m²
Design year:
Completion year:
Bamburen (Furnishing)
Interior design:
Daniel Cinta
Civil engineer:
Structural engineer:
Environmental & MEP:
Gisela Kenigsberg and Daniel Cinta
Obed Moreno
Concrete, steel, clay, and wood
Casa TO
Hospitality › Boutique Hotel

In La Punta Zicatela, international surf capital, the new boutique hotel redefines hospitality with a precise balance of environmental and architectural elements that invite contemplation.

In La Punta Zicatela, a spot on Mexico’s Pacific coast with golden sunsets where the sea, the sand, and the cliffs form a unique panorama, Casa To nestles in a discreet oasis of unusual architecture where you can immerse yourself in a state of total contemplation.

With just nine suites, the hotel defines itself as a manifesto of hospitality for introspection, sited opposite the Zicatela Ecological Community, a key destination for contemporary nomads from every latitude, who seek to find themselves among wide beaches ideal for surfing and watersports, walking, meditating, and even helping to release turtles in the local sanctuaries.

The project, by the renowned architect Ludwig Godefroy, was developed under the watchword of simplicity and conceptual elegance, bringing together tradition and the avant-garde in a unique structure embraced by a peaceful natural setting. The name, Casa TO, comes from the idea of serene contemplation of an enclosed space, like the reinterpretation of a Oaxacan temple, generating a radical sensory experience upon entering.

The structure evokes the reticulated pattern of two historical hydraulic works of timeless beauty: the Basilica Cistern or Yerebatan Sarayi of Istanbul, dating from the 6th century AD, and the Hornsey Wood Reservoir in Finsbury Park, London, built in the 19th century.

The interplay of privacy and exposure is evident. The interior views create an oasis enclosed by the sky, the weight of the walls and the vegetation of climbing plants and fruit trees including bananas and passion fruit. In this area, measuring 600 square meters, Godefroy interweaves aesthetics and functionality, emphasizing the honesty of the textures of the raw materials, such as concrete, steel, clay, and wood.

The focal point of Casa TO is the covered infinity pool and solarium. The former alludes to the vaulted volumes and the signature style of Le Corbusier with rectilinear lines, exposed loadbearing walls, lightweight structures, and open-plan interiors. The solarium, with its terraced layout, has divisions to provide privacy in each area.

The adjacent volume comprises the suites and has a structure that favors cool air, given the prevailing heat of the region, and provides protection from the outdoors. The six rooms on the ground floor have gardens, while those on the upper level offer a terrace and outdoor bath.

The natural surroundings of Casa TO defined the interior design, inspired by the natural pattern of a Madagascar Blue Bismarck palm tree (Bismarckia Nobilis) standing on the original site. The chosen color palette combines the natural tones of concrete and stainless steel with turquoise hues –appreciated in the metalwork, the lamps by Natural Urbano studio, and other decorative details–, and nuances of yellow, blue, and green.

Furniture built by expert carpenters from Puebla, Guadalajara, and Oaxaca conveys a sense of simplicity and delicacy and, together with the bamboo pieces designed by Tiago Solís Van Beuren, emphasizes the textures while bringing character to the spaces. These unique pieces, which display the richness and creativity of talented local artisans, may be purchased by guests under a fairtrade model, enabling them to introduce exceptional objects into their daily lives.

At Casa TO consciousness and sustainability are seen as fundamental aspects of luxury living today, and expressed in its commitment to reducing its environmental impact with actions including: a water treatment plant to reuse wastewater for the planted areas; solar panels to store energy; and a zero-plastics policy.

The facilities at Casa TO adopt the traditional herbalism of the Mayan and Hindu cultures with products based on ancient plants such as calendula, which possesses regenerative and therapeutic properties. The formulas, by the Mexican company For All Folks, are vegan and paraben-, mineral-, and cruelty-free.

Staying at Casa TO means taking a pause to reconnect with a contemplative experience in surroundings of abundant conceptual elegance and total serenity.

By Naser Nader Ibrahim

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