BEHOLD CARLOS COUTURIER’S FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE ON MEXICO’S
On the Pacific Coast of Mexico, there is a rocky headland where you can watch the sun both rise and set over the ocean.
The phenomenon gives a mystical aura to Punta Cometa,
the bluff at the western edge of the beach town of Mazunte.
Hotelier Carlos Couturier fell under the site’s spell during a trip there some 15 years ago. “I thought, This place is magic,”
says Couturier, who bought land here next to a nature preserve.
“It almost feels a bit spiritual.”
As a founding partner of Grupo Habita,
a boutique-hotel firm in Mexico known for innovative design, he was constantly on the move.
Six years ago, he was finally ready to plan his ocean-view retreat.
“I wanted a place a bit like a monastery and where I could feel safe,
so a bit like a fortress,” he says. “I also wanted it to feel pre-Hispanic.”
Mazunte is in the state of Oaxaca, where the strata of Mexico’s ancient
civilizations lie exposed against those of their Spanish colonizers and where Indigenous culture resonates strongly.
Couturier looked for an architect who “understood Oaxaca.”
He hired Mauricio Rocha, who with his partner at the time, Gabriela Carrillo,
had turned an ancient Dominican monastery in the city of Oaxaca into a light-flooded cultural center.
The design of the house had to be integrated into the site’s steep topography and tropical vegetation.
The solution was a series of platforms framed by two stone towers.
The platforms evoke the ancient Zapotec city of Monte Albán.
Rocha also looked at a more recent reference, Casa Malaparte, a modernist house on the island of Capri in Italy.
“We wanted to create something that was timeless,” Rocha says. ออกแบบบ้าน