TDA House / Cadaval & Solà-Morales

Architect: Eduardo Cadaval & Clara Solà-Morales
Location: Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca,
Collaborator: Eugenio Eraña Lagos
Structures: Ricardo Camacho de la Fuente
Construction Managment: Marcial Burgos & Hugo López Solano
Constructed Area: 350 sqm
Project Year: 2005-2006
Photograhs: Santiago Garcés / Cadaval & Solà-Morales

Where are the limits of materials? Are they in their apparently implicit properties or in our capacity to expand them?

A Fresh house for extreme weather that surpasses the standard limits of comfort of the city-dweller; a low-cost house requiring minimum maintenance; a house for any number of habitants, flexible in its uses and configuration; a house that can open up completely to the exterior or close in on itself; a beach house that can be built in a distant corner of the world. The high temperatures, the saltpeter, and the unskilled labor force determined the use of . Bridges, breakwaters, and dams are also made in , because of its structural capabilities and its resistance under extreme conditions. This was the architect’s starting point, and the tectonic and morphological possibilities of the material contributed to the formal definition of the project.

The section of the house, with its pronounced cantilevers, seeks to carry the expression of these qualities to the limit, but above all to adapt itself to the specific conditions of the context. Three elements are defined for three distinct conditions: a tower volume which, in search of the sea, interrupts its opacity at strategic points until it achieves complete openness at the level where nothing blocks its views over the Mexican Pacific; a second bedroom volume suspended over the water and the flowers of the garden; and a high, broad, airy, central space which distributes and channels the different activities going on in the house. These three elements merge into a single volume of uncertain scale and rough textures.

The great constructed exterior, forming a threshold under the imposing cantilever, is the most important space of the house, its central focus. It has all the characteristics and potential of a made-to-measure interior: connected with the spacious central core of the house, protected by the balance and rigor of the constructed object, but at the same time supplied with light, water, and air, close to the lush tropical vegetation and colors that contrast with the neutrality of the concrete. All of this, suspended in the hammocks, reinforces the solidity of the structure and the ease with which it is inhabited.

It is the experience of this interstitial space that defines the architectural intent of the design: life lived outside, in the open air, in community; a living photograph of the vital Mexican utopia, that is, a world of harmony, color, and nature, reflected in the swaying of hammocks and the pleasure of dolce far niente.

Cite: "TDA House / Cadaval & Solà-Morales" 09 Jan 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 24 May 2015. <>
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  • Cameron

    Mono-syllable poetry at it’s best!

  • roadkill

    pure simplicity… no mediocrity

  • J

    Already knew this one from Dezeen, but i still like it very, very much. Superb.

  • Miguel From Porto

    A bit modern moviment.. just nicezita, Morales can´t go further!!

  • Kim

    Just too plain Post-Modern revival of the 60′s.

    But I like the materiality treatment, maybe there’s a more subtle touch that can’t be seen with photos? It would have been interesting to push furthure the investigation into red fabrics (red raw silk curtain or partition…?)

  • roadkill

    HEY chemical kim why don’t you comment on some other forum… try this one:


  • Rokas

    I just don’t understand-from where such envy,or something like that-what’s wrong with 60′s?With 30′s?I,myself,never get bored of mountain’s-and they ar thousands years old…

  • JustinM

    I love the idea of utilizing the top floor as an area to hang hammocks. Very original design. A breath of fresh air.

  • Anne

    Love the roof top hammocks. Looks like a spot where one could spend all day.

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  • LargoJax

    Love this house. Clever design!

  • three zed

    oh, god….. i love this house.

  • Peter

    Jump to the pool from the bedrooms…
    Great idea and very crazy as the house!

  • The Ess

    This big old concrete box just seems practical and even neomodern chic, so nice. The location helps it a bit.

  • alejandro

    The only question I would raise has to do with context.
    I mean, I love the house as a contemporary architecture piece, really well thought with lots of ideas going about it and I dislike a lot the houses next door, because to say it simple they are not architecture.
    But playing devil´s advocate I´m sure many neighbors could thing the same about this house. And for me at the end that´s the final architectural question: context.
    Because it is clear that for Oaxaca, for Puerto Escondido this house plus the other houses are as a whole messing up pretty badly the coastal landscape.
    Sometimes green camouflage is a better suit than a concrete statement.

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  • Tanja

    I agree with u Alejandro…regarding the context. let’s hope rest of the neighbors will decide to eventually redone their house. Still the house’s roof top hammocks are so clever and breath taking idea! Love it!

  • fira

    love the roof top……

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  • Parallax

    I really think that the hammocks just see grate on the beach, the rest of the build are grate!