Casa Canela finds a humble fusion of the modern within its colonial Mexican roots

Textured white walls with green accents define Casa Canela in Mexico by Workshop: Design + Construction, who retained few elements of the pre-existing colonial structure.

by STIRworldPublished on : Jan 11, 2021

A young Mexican studio, Workshop: Design + Construction, reveals their design for Casa Canela, a colonial two-bedroom residence that combines itself with sober, contemporary details. Located in the historical town of Mérida in Yucatán, Mexico, the white walled 155 sqm residential design has simple accents of pea green that were preserved from the original building, “honouring the quality and historic values of the pre-existing colonial architecture in a pure manner,” shares the Mexican studio.

  • White walls and accents of green inside Casa Canela in Mexico | Casa Canela by Workshop: Design + Construction | STIRworld
    White walls and accents of green inside Casa Canela in Mexico Image: Tamara Uribe
  • Entrance | Casa Canela by Workshop: Design + Construction | STIRworld
    Entrance Image: Tamara Uribe

A winged, copper figurine by Mexican sculptor Jorge Marin greets one at the anteroom, entered via green coloured doors. Surrounded by white stone walls and antique pasta tiles, the sculpture sits on a copper pedestal in the middle of the room, under a simple suspended lamp and the original, green beams.

The entrance and anteroom | Casa Canela by Workshop: Design + Construction | STIRworld
The entrance and anteroom Image: Tamara Uribe

Doorways here are adorned with old green frames, and an Isabel Garfias painting hangs inside the kitchen where claywood lamps hang over a simple, tzalam wood table with a rustic wooden bench in the centre. The kitchen backsplash is fitted with pasta tiles as well, on which hang utensils and ornaments, sharing space with Fernando Andriacci’s two art pieces. The cabinets here duplicate the green of the original woodwork.

  • The kitchen | Casa Canela by Workshop: Design + Construction | STIRworld
    The kitchen Image: Tamara Uribe
  • The warm kitchen leads into the pool | Casa Canela by Workshop: Design + Construction | STIRworld
    The warm kitchen leads into the pool Image: Tamara Uribe

Two glass doors follow into a covered terrace that hosts a dining area and a piece by Mexican artist Pedro Friedeberg. Apart from a rustic timber dining table and black chairs, reproductions of the iconic teak chairs that Swiss architect Pierre Jeanneret made in the 1950s for Chandigarh sit here, amid low lighting. A small pool rests within the garden in the middle, framed by a half-point arch and surrounded by greens and tall walls of rocky texture. 

  • The arched terrace with an adjoining pool | Casa Canela by Workshop: Design + Construction | STIRworld
    The arched terrace with an adjoining pool Image: Tamara Uribe
  • Dining room at the terrace | Casa Canela by Workshop: Design + Construction | STIRworld
    Dining room at the terrace Image: Tamara Uribe

One of the bedrooms is located downstairs, with headboards fixed with traditional pasta tile and huge sliding windows facing the gardens, another Friedeberg piece by Galeria Urbana hanging over the bed. The bedroom upstairs follows an identical layout, with an additional front terrace. “The stairs seen outdoor takes shape from the traditional staircases of local architecture here,” shares Francisco Bernés, co-founder, Workshop: Design + Construction.

One of the bedrooms | Casa Canela by Workshop: Design + Construction | STIRworld
One of the bedrooms Image: Tamara Uribe

“Casa Canela aims to respect and honour the historic values of colonial architecture of Yucatán, in a pure and sober way, combining with contemporary details and comfort of current lifestyle in order to create a small oasis in the middle of the city,” says Fabián Gutiérrez, co-founder, Workshop: Design + Construction.

Pool | Casa Canela by Workshop: Design + Construction | STIRworld
Pool Image: Tamara Uribe

Project Details

Name: Casa Canela
Location: Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico
Area: 155 sqm
Architect: Workshop: Design + Construction
Design team: Francisco Bernés Aranda and Fabián Gutiérrez Cetina (Founders), Alejandro Bargas Cicero, Isabel Bargas Cicero

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