Casa Shelly in Mexico by ColectivoMX
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Casa Shelly, by ColectivoMX, is located 20 minutes away from San José del Cabo, in the Laguna Hills community, Cabo del Este. The client is a photographer and surfer, who wished the home to be urban-looking, with low water and energy use as well as low maintenance.The architects added additional requirements — preservation of unique vegetation, minimum pollution during the building process, use of workforce and local materials, and natural ventilation. Therefore, they ended up only using a base of five materials: concrete, steel, wood, aluminum and glass. The exterior was finished with tinted, polished concrete so that it is low maintenance and can withstand the heat and water. The interior walls are white-painted plaster.

The outdoor area of the home is just as important as the interior because of the pleasant weather and lack of rain. Three independent volumes and two vertical connections — one covered with a roof and one uncovered — make up this architectural layout. The 2-story main home comprises a living room, a dining room, a kitchen, a bathroom, a warehouse and a wash area on the first floor, and the main bedroom and bath on the second floor. The living room, dining room and kitchen are connected in an open floorplan for casual dining and entertaining.

The two floors are connected through an independently placed staircase, protected from the exterior by latticework concrete, which plays with the light and brings some of the outdoors inside.

Environmental features include a system to reuse water for watering, solar cells for electricity, ceiling fans instead of air conditioning, an emergency gas generator and a swimming pool with saltwater managed through solar panels.

Architecture: ColectivoMX
Project Leader: Javier Gutiérrez Toscano
Design Team: Antonio Plá, Fátima Chavarría, Ulrike Margull
Structural Engineering and Facilities: Gerson Huerta
Construction: ColectivoMX
Location: Cabo del Este, Baja California Sur, México
Project Date: 2008
Client: David and Shelly Martínez
Photographs: ColectivoMX, David Martínez

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Jaime Derringer, Founder + Executive Editor of Design Milk, is a Jersey girl living in SoCal. She dreams about funky, artistic jewelry + having enough free time to enjoy some of her favorite things—running, reading, making music, and drawing.