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A Soulful Casita in Todos Santos, Mexico, for a French Aesthete

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A Soulful Casita in Todos Santos, Mexico, for a French Aesthete

February 4, 2019

A while back, while browsing LA-based photographer Laure Joliet’s site, we spotted photos of an intriguing modernist concrete house taking shape in Todos Santos. We emailed Laure to find out more:

“A few years ago, my dad, Vincent Joliet, was visiting Todos Santos and was so taken with the place that he decided to find a piece of land,” she wrote back. “Todos is a charming, dusty town about an hour north of Cabo; it’s long been a destination for surfers and travelers turned off by the tourism scene of Cabo. Instead of looking for an ocean view, which would bring with it the wind and the beating sun, he found a a parcel of land at the end of a road, a five-minute walk from the center of town.”

Vincent teamed up with his friend Herve Daridan, a French-born, LA-based architect, on the design of the house. “Our inspiration came from many sources,” Herve says. “The raised sidewalks in the pueblo, tent structures, Spain, Greece, Luis Barragán, Rick Joy, Parisian artists studios, Japanese architecture, to name a few.”

Join us for a tour:

Photography by Laure Joliet.

Vincent and Herve came up with a plan that involved &#8
Above: Vincent and Herve came up with a plan that involved “three interlocking casitas,” with a communal living space in the middle and bedrooms on either end for privacy.
Herve designed the steel doors, which were manufactured locally.
Above: Herve designed the steel doors, which were manufactured locally.

“The house is built on a raised slab three feet off the ground since it’s in a flood zone,” Herve says. “The walls and flat roof are built using the Tridipanel or Construpanel system, a common construction technique in Mexico involving sprayed concrete on a wire mesh/polystyrene structure finished with tinted, polished concrete/plaster. This system is very efficient for insulation, and has been proven very resistant to the elements. The house did quite well during the recent hurricane seasons.”

The walls and floors are finished with a smooth pulido, or polished, surface.
Above: The walls and floors are finished with a smooth pulido, or polished, surface.
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Above: “The kitchen is based on the little open-air taco stands in town,” Vincent says. “With a big open window, a large counter, and a door on the side.”
A view of the compact kitchen.
Above: A view of the compact kitchen.
The kitchen has floating integrated shelves.
Above: The kitchen has floating integrated shelves.

“We wanted to keep the house very simple,” Vincent says, “which is why we started with built-in concrete poured seating areas and kitchen. It gave a solid base to the feeling of the house. The floors and walls are the same color and there’s almost nothing on the walls, just like in a monastery. I wanted the house to feel calm and grounded.”

The kitchen opens onto a shaded outdoor lounging area with Acapulco Chairs. (For something similar, try the Handmade Woven Acapulco Lounge Chair, currently on Overstock.)
Above: The kitchen opens onto a shaded outdoor lounging area with Acapulco Chairs. (For something similar, try the Handmade Woven Acapulco Lounge Chair, currently on Overstock.)
The dining table is surrounded by a set of French schoolhouse stacking chairs; for something similar, consider the Trainspotters Stacking Chair.
Above: The dining table is surrounded by a set of French schoolhouse stacking chairs; for something similar, consider the Trainspotters Stacking Chair.
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Above: “The wooden furniture is made by the local carpenter; I had fun designing it,” Vincent says.
Delicate wire and cotton pendants hover overhead; for something similar, consider the Ay Illuminate by Nelson Sepulveda Pendants from Lost & Found in LA.
Above: Delicate wire and cotton pendants hover overhead; for something similar, consider the Ay Illuminate by Nelson Sepulveda Pendants from Lost & Found in LA.
Vincent reading in the open-air lounge area.
Above: Vincent reading in the open-air lounge area.
The bedrooms on either side of the house have reading areas with built-in seating and louvered media sombre walls made of a steel frame with a bug screen and woven Palo de Arco screens that filter the light while letting the breeze in.
Above: The bedrooms on either side of the house have reading areas with built-in seating and louvered media sombre walls made of a steel frame with a bug screen and woven Palo de Arco screens that filter the light while letting the breeze in.
A view into one of the bedrooms.
Above: A view into one of the bedrooms.
A built-in closet and dresser with handmade leather pulls.
Above: A built-in closet and dresser with handmade leather pulls.
The bathroom faucets are made from copper pipe; for more ideas, see Trend Alert:  DIY Faucets Made from Plumbing Parts.
Above: The bathroom faucets are made from copper pipe; for more ideas, see Trend Alert: 10 DIY Faucets Made from Plumbing Parts.
The pool at dusk.
Above: The pool at dusk.

For more Mexican architecture, see:

N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on March 17, 2017.

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