Mexico City- and Berlin-based Zeller & Moye has unveiled a unique modular home that allows for multiple horizontal and vertical configurations through its lifespan. Not only is Casa Hilo a flexible, low-cost, modular construction, but it is also a model for sustainable rural home design in that its materials (including locally made adobe) were chosen to create a strong thermal mass to withstand Mexico’s harsh summer climate.

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a concrete framed home with adobe walls

According to the architects, the Casa Hilo project was designed as a housing prototype for building family homes in rural areas with warm climates. Located in Apan, Mexico, the 970-square-foot abode is made up of four distinct blocks comprising two bedrooms, one kitchen/dining room and a bathroom.

Related: Experimental timber prototype champions sustainable modular housing for the masses

concrete-framed modules with adobe walls

home with concrete frames and adobe bricks

Whereas conventional homes normally consist of one large volume, this modular design sees various blocks that can be interconnected according to personal needs. The initial design is a horizontal, single-story home, but it could easily be configured into multi-story arrangements down the road in order to make room for additional family members.

home made out of several separate blocks

home made out of several separate concrete-framed blocks

In a horizontal arrangement, the rooms have all been connected so that each room is a separate space with its own front door and roof terrace. Joined at the corners, the layout enables the house to embrace the landscape. Each “box” has its separate green space or garden, which becomes an integral part of the entire home.

interior bedroom with adobe walls

interior living space with wooden furniture

In addition to its remarkable flexibility, the project also boasts a strong sustainable profile. The boxes are framed with concrete and then filled with locally made adobe blocks. The natural materials provide thermal mass to the home, a feature that reduces energy loss and keeps the interiors at a comfortable temperature year-round.

home made out of several separate blocks

aerial view of modular home design with various blocks

The windows and doors are made of bamboo lattice shades, which allow for natural light and ventilation to flow into the interior living spaces. Additionally, they pull double-duty as shade-providing pergolas to create pleasant areas for socializing outside the home.

+ Zeller & Moye

Via ArchDaily

Photography by Jaime Navarro and drawings by Zeller & Moye