Built to embrace the outdoors and radiate a sense of warmth, the Aculco project is an idyllic holiday home set in a pristine and remote landscape in Aculco, Mexico. Mexico City-based architectural firm PPAA designed the dwelling for two outdoors-loving brothers who had discovered the site on a rock climbing trip. Given the property’s isolated location and natural beauty, the project challenged the architects to use locally sourced materials and to minimize the visual and physical impact of the home on the surroundings.

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gray stone home with sloped roof

After the two brothers discovered the site years ago, they first purchased the plot and reforested the lands before reaching out to PPAA to design a holiday home where they could recharge and rest from the stresses of modern living. Not only did the property enjoy close proximity to impressive cliffs for rock climbing, but it was also blessed with untouched panoramic views. As a result, the clients and architects turned to nature as the primary source of inspiration and settled on a simple, low-maintenance design that would complement and pay deference to the landscape.

brothers sitting on patio outside of stone home

bedroom with stone walls and open wooden doors to the outside

“The architectural project was mainly guided by the qualities of the environment, so we sought to establish a reciprocal dialogue between the construction and its natural surrounding,” the architects explained of the house, which sports a rectangular floor plan and a simple one-pitch roof. Occupying an area of 969 square feet, the light-filled interior is centered on an open-plan living room, dining area and kitchenette. A bedroom on one end and a bathroom on the other flank the living spaces; a lofted bedroom is located above the bathroom unit.

Related: This modern solar-powered retreat is topped with a massive green roof

two chairs facing a shelving unit and fireplace with large windows on the side wall

small kitchenette with wood cabinets

The property’s remote location also posed a major challenge in the construction phase, when the architects grappled with finding locally available labor and materials. As a result, the simple and low-maintenance design of the building was also born largely out of necessity. Locally quarried stone makes up the block walls of the house, while the clay for the floors, the timber and the glass were also procured locally. “We left every material in its raw state without covering it,” the architects noted. “The construction’s clear spaces become almost solely a container of views.”


Photography by Rafael Gamo via PPAA

aerial view of stone home surrounded by forest and wild grasses