Building in extreme landscapes and climates comes with all sorts of complications, but one savvy architect managed to construct a beautiful modern home using the local environment to the home’s advantage. Mexico City-based architectural firm, Paola Calzada Arquitectos built the contemporary Tabasco Home in the middle of Mexico’s rare rainforest using several passive features to reduce energy. What’s more, the home design was built using several eco-friendly and repurposed materials such as 3,000 recycled plastic bottles used for the kitchen.
Unlike most of Mexico, Tabasco is mainly covered in thick rainforest. In addition to its humid climate, the area is often plagued by flooding, which causes complications for most construction projects.
However, the area is pristine and idyllic for those looking to live among nature. Accordingly, the Tabasco house was built strategically using passive features so that the homeowners could enjoy a strong connection to the landscape, but feel protected from its harsh climate.
Spanning almost 4,000 square feet over two floors, the contemporary home is laid out in an “L” shape. This strategic feature works two-fold. First, the interior of the L shape outside the home allowed the family to enjoy plenty of private outdoor space, including a large terrace, pool and patio. Additionally, the long extension faces north to protect the main living spaces from direct sunlight.
As a result of the orientation, the ultra large expanses of glass walls allow for optimal natural light to flood the interior while the living spaces are protected from solar gain during the summer months. For extra cooling, the home was installed with inverter technology air conditioners that run on solar power, further helping to reduce the home’s energy needs.
The home’s exterior is a contemporary blend of reinforced concrete, steel and large expanses of glass. On the inside, the interior design is light and airy, with a distinctly modern touch. Double height ceilings and an abundance of windows provide a sense of spaciousness to best take in the amazing views of the large garden outside, which is planted with native vegetation.
The open-layout on the interior opens up the space, letting the family enjoy time together at the large live wood dining table. At the heart of the home, however, is the massive kitchen, which was manufactured using 3,000 recycled industrial plastic bottles. Throughout the interior, exposed concrete walls and natural stone accents give the space a cool, industrial feel that contrasts nicely with the home’s natural surroundings.
Photography by Jaime Navarro