David Cervera

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The Rustic Beauty of the Chukum in Modern Mexican Architecture

© Elke Frotscher© Eduardo Calvo© David Cervera© Adrian Llaguno+ 39

In Yucatan, architects are reviving an ancient Mayan stucco technique for contemporary buildings, merging modern architecture with regional history and culture. The technique is called “chukum,” a term derived from the colloquial name for the Havardia albicans tree native to Mexico. Made with chukum tree bark, the material has several defining qualities that separate it from traditional stucco, including impermeable properties and a natural earthy color. Though chukum initially fell out of use following Spanish conquest of the Maya civilization, it was rediscovered and reemployed by Salvador Reyes Rios of the architecture firm Reyes Rios + Larrain Arquitectos in the late 1990’s, initiating a resurgence of use in the area.

Designing in Tight Spaces: Examples from Latin America

La Caja de Luz / Juan Alberto Andrade. Image © Jag Studio
La Caja de Luz / Juan Alberto Andrade. Image © Jag Studio

In densely-populated cities, where construction projects tend to require party walls, the close proximity of other buildings complicate even further the process of creating spaces that incorporate elements like natural light and cross-ventilation. But this of course is not the only challenge: the ever-changing and multiplying nature of cities has given rise to atypical lots--properties that have been created by subdividing large swathes of urban land. In general, the reduced dimensions force developers to look for ways to maximize the limited space available to them. 

Architecture in Mexico: Exploring Houses to Understand the Territory of Mérida

Casa ALTABRISA / Boyancé Arquitectos. Image © David CerveraUn Patio / P11 Arquitectos. Image © Eduardo Calvo SantisbónCasa de monte / TACO taller de arquitectura contextual. Image © Leo EspinosaCasa del Limonero / Taller Estilo Arquitectura. Image © David Cervera+ 25

The city of Merida –capital of the Yucatan state in Mexico– is a region that has experienced a rise in architectural development in recent years due to the emerging talent that has made a name for itself with national awards and biennial proposals throughout the country. Due to Merida's tropical climate, the architecture on this site corresponds to specific geographical conditions that make it one of the most visited destinations in the world.

Architecture and Sea: Outstanding Projects on the Beaches of Mexico

One of the most important factors when designing is the specific climate of the site, this can represent a difficulty when dealing with extreme climates and it is necessary to use insulating materials that adapt to changing conditions. However, when talking about Mexico and its privileged climate, this becomes an advantage for architects, allowing the creation of microclimates and spaces that fade into the transition of what is the inside and the outside.

Kaleidos House / Taller Estilo Arquitectura

© David Cervera© David Cervera© David Cervera© David Cervera+ 30

Centro, Mexico
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  275
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2019
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: American Standard, Cemex, Comex, Llano de la Torre, Tecnolite, +1

House RP in San Crisanto / David Cervera Arquitectos

© David Cervera© David Cervera© David Cervera© David Cervera+ 43

San Crisanto, Mexico
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  380
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2018
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: Cemex, Boxito, Construpac, Osel

A Tribute to the Color of Contemporary Mexican Architecture

© BGP© Javier Callejas© Paco Pérez Arriaga© Leo Espinosa+ 20

Color, inherited from indigenous cultures of Mexico, is a defining characteristic of Mexican architecture. Vibrant colors have been used by architects and artists such as Luis Barragán, Ricardo Legorreta, Mathias Goeritz, Juan O'Gorman, and Mario Pani.

Color in Mexican architecture has reinforced the identity of different regions and areas within the country. For example, it is almost impossible to think of San Miguel de Allende or Guanajuato without the facade colors that weave the landscape.

House Temozón / Boyancé Arquitectura + Edificación

© David Cervera© David Cervera© David Cervera© David Cervera+ 28

Mérida, Mexico
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  505
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2015
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: Cemex, Acerofertas y Acerounion, MIDO, MITZA, Millet

House Between Trees / AS Arquitectura

© David Cervera© David Cervera© David Cervera© David Cervera+ 28

Playa del Carmen, Mexico
  • Architects: AS Arquitectura
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2015
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: Chukum

Canto Cholul Residence / Taller Estilo Arquitectura

© David Cervera© David Cervera© David Cervera© David Cervera+ 25

Cholul, Mexico
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  361
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2016
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: Cemex, Boxito, Nordika

El Palmar / David Cervera

© David Cervera© David Cervera© David Cervera© David Cervera+ 59

Chuburná, Mexico
  • Architects: David Cervera
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  90
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2017
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: Cemex, Blu Albercas. German Salazar, Mosaicos La Peninsular

Hole 14 House / Javier Muñoz Menéndez

© David Cervera© David Cervera© David Cervera© David Cervera+ 16

Merida, Mexico
  • Architects: Muñoz Arquitectos
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  876
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2013

Matiz House / Muñoz Arquitectos

© David Cervera © David Cervera © David Cervera © David Cervera + 20

Merida, Mexico
  • Architects: Muñoz Arquitectos
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  1026
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2014

Two Courtyards House / Muñoz Arquitectos

© David Cervera© David Cervera© David Cervera© David Cervera+ 14

Merida, Mexico
  • Architects: Muñoz Arquitectos
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  219
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2015

Material Focus: Hacienda Niop by AS Arquitectua and R79

This article is part of our new series "Material in Focus", where we ask architects to share with us their creative process through the choice of materials that define important parts of the construction of their buildings.

Niop Hacienda from AS Arquitectura and R79 is part architectural regeneration project part historical building involving the transformation of an abandoned industrial space into high-end tourist complex in the southeast region of Mexico. A desire to maintain the original feel of the place influenced the selection of the new materials (like steel, stone, chukum, wood and glass) in order to create new spaces for public and private use that meld with the existing structure. In this interview, we talked with Roberto Ramirez from R79 who explains more about how the material choice of the project contributed to the design and construction process.

© David Cervera© David Cervera© David Cervera© David Cervera+ 18

Casa del Limonero / Taller Estilo Arquitectura

© David Cervera© David Cervera© David Cervera© David Cervera+ 33

Guazuma House / Alberto Zavala Arquitectos

© David Cervera© David Cervera© David Cervera© David Cervera+ 33

Villahermosa, Mexico

Naked House / Taller Estilo Arquitectura

© David Cervera© David Cervera© David Cervera© David Cervera+ 37

Mérida, Mexico