Maya temples inspired this brutalist Merida villa by Ludwig Godefroy

Casa Dzul is a modern retreat with an ancient feel

Staggered, craggy concrete forms evoke the memory of Mayan temples at Casa Dzul in Mérida, designed by architect Ludwig Godefroy.

The brutalist Mexican holiday home is available to rent for the first time via Airbnb from around $290 per night. It is a playful inversion of Mérida’s famous limestone colonial architecture and rich Mayan heritage. The Yucatán capital is nicknamed The White City for its white-washed buildings, some built with stone from Mayan ruins. Godefroy riffs on this history, making the villa out of cast concrete and enveloping it in vegetation – like a temple ruin emerging from the jungle.

Mexico is a top destination for remote workers, and Casa Dzul caters neatly to this crowd, with a designated workspace and common area set up for a productive workday – made more fun by a quick, cooling dip in the villa’s private swimming pool, which cuts through the two-bedroom villa’s concrete volumes.

Its two bedrooms are airy and minimalist, with clerestory windows cut into the double-height concrete walls and pivoting, steel-frame glass doors that open to the courtyard.

The courtyard and pool are the villa’s focal point, with interior spaces converging on this breezy outdoor space. And while craggy and austere, thanks to its multitude of concrete, it’s also highly colourful thanks to views of blue skies overhead and towering trees and fronds which wave above the garden walls, with curated ‘moments’ of discovery – the rock garden, a cluster of succulents and palms, and views through the geometries of the house.

Cast concrete surfaces and built-ins also feature in the kitchen, which juxtaposes tropical brutalism with tactile boulder walls, hand formed from stone to recall the origins of the site and the city’s heritage.

Casa Dzul is minutes from downtown Mérida and less than an hour’s drive from Casa Dzul is Uxmal – a world heritage site, home to the Pyramid of the Magician. It’s the most distinctive Maya structure on the Yucatán Peninsula, and its influence on Casa Dzul will become immediately apparent.

Photography: Jasson Rodriguez
Photography: Jasson Rodriguez

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