Huolpoch House / Workshop, Diseño y Construcción

18 December 2021 -
Tom Will

Casa Houlpoch, an ancient Yucatecan house from the late last century, is named after a snake from the region known to visit the property often. This construction project aimed to rescue the historical integrity of Yucatecan colonial design while integrating contemporary details and the luxuries of today's life in an interpretative, sober, and pure manner to create various relaxing atmospheres to enjoy the warm peninsular outdoors.

The rooms feature pastel shades and are furnished with casual and modern chairs and tables while incorporating greenery. The rooms also display works of art, including a spirited Timoteo on the center table and a painting by Pedro Friedeberg placed on the sofa.

The kitchen, varnished in quartz and paste, features a refurbishment of ancient Yucatecan bells above the stove. Dangling lamps synchronize the entire space and complement the wooden tzalam furniture and the dining room. The latter is linked to the terrace via a window, creating feelings of spaciousness. Overall, the furniture here is a combination of the three cultures that owners identify with – a table, centerpiece, a drum brought from Mozambique, and patterns on the fabric of two Utrecht chairs from Dutch designer and architect Gerrit Rietvelt.

Placed on another sofa is a painting by Mexican artist Fernando Andriacci. While, the opposite side features a cow’s beaded head from Huichol and a traditional Dutch bicycle with colors of Prinsenvlag. The master bedroom on the first level has a much simpler design, showcasing a headboard featuring pasta tiles and a painting by Neon Caron. A beautiful view of the pool and the interior and tropical gardens can be seen from the bed.

The central courtyard contains a chukum pool surrounded by ancient colonial architecture stone remnants and an enormous poplar tree, producing an amazing play of light and dark with an ideal ambiance to host an outdoor kitchen. The volumetric back of the house contains steps leading to the second level, which features a terrace and two rooms and serves as an optical axis and a sculptural hallmark of architecture and dynamism. Moreover, a winding staircase is inspired by the millenary stairs of the ancient temple of Kukulkán, a feathered serpent, and god from Mayan mythology in Chichén Itzá.

Photos by: Tamara Uribe