Gabriela House

Site plan: Sampling of Nuevo Yucatan area.
Gabriela House: Stance on the integration of architecture to the built environment and public space.
Human appropriation of open space.
Urban scale from rooftop courtyard.
Correlation between house and sidewalk.
Gabriela House: Floor plans.
Gabriela House: Longitudinal and cross section plans.
Transitional space before social area.
Utilitarian spaces.
Spatial proportion of the bedroom.
Sunset from the back garden.
Transitory experiences.

Primary Author

  • TACO taller de arquitectura contextual

Contributing Author

  • Estefanía Rivero Janssen (Design collaborator)


  • María Gabriela Ibarra Mendoza


  • Leobardo R Espinosa Rendon


The aim was to provide the user with a serene yet convenient haven, related to the city, which had security considerations, thermal comfort and energy efficiency, and low cost of construction and maintenance. The project has special enphasis in the quality of the space and the user's experience through it.


Gabriela House is a 915 square foot single family house located in a medium-low area which is yet in the process of urban development, within the limits of tropical city of Merida, southeast Mexico. It is basically an early inheritance from an elderly couple to their daughter, a 52 years old single woman with special needs, due to some health and social interaction difficulties.


The house is tucked away from the street. Along with the walls of the adjoining properties, it generates a small square that produces a use to the public space, a feature that contributes to the neighborhood safety. This space is accentuated by a pond that works as a control for mosquitoes which is viewed from all social areas of the house. The architectural program considers a social area where the kitchen and the dining room converge; an intermediate services area where the bathroom and laundry closet are located; and finally a bedroom. Both the social area and the bedroom have rear semi-outdoor terraces. From the social terrace one can reach the back garden and an open rooftop courtyard. The climate of the region allows multiple openings to be closed only with mosquito net, allowing constant natural ventilation. Double heights have openings that allow the evacuation of hot air. The building system is the most common in the area (concrete blocks, beams and slabs). Low ceilings are thermally insulated with polystyrene panels. Walls and low ceilings have waterproof cement based stucco. Fixed furniture was assembled with pre-cast in place concrete plates. Concrete lattices protect the interior of the house from sunshine, rain, vandalism and hurricanes. The proposed vegetation is endemic and also species for human consumption. Color is present on the thresholds at the front and rear accesses, as well as functional furniture. They were chosen for their ability to dialogue with the different shades of blooms in the gardens.

Site plan: Sampling of Nuevo Yucatan area.