Guatemala is known for many things — Mayan ruins, volcanoes — but modern architecture isn’t necessarily one of those things. But that could change with the completion of the Corallo House in Guatemala City. The luxurious home, which was designed by Paz Arquitectura, was built into a lush hillside in Guatemala City’s Santa Rosalía area. The house isn’t just surrounded by trees; it actually has mature trees growing right through the living room!
Working with a site that was full of dozens of big trees, the design team and builders chose to integrate the modern home into the existing landscape, laying the foundation around the growth. “The design process began with the aim to preserve the existing trees, in order to have the trees interact with the living space,” writes architect Alejandro Paz of Paz Arquitectura over at Archilovers. “The floor plan is free of columns and the changes in level adapt to the existing topography.”
This isn’t your standard tree house though. The home employs a lot of concrete, wood paneling, and glass, with large windows connecting the indoors with the natural world outside. And all those right angles make the existence of living trees all the more striking. The tiered home also features catwalks on the highest level, which pass through the trees to the home’s entrance. Work on the Casa Corallo began back in 2008, and it was finished in 2011.
Photos by Andrés Asturias