Located in Puerto Escondido, Mexico, Casa Cova is arranged on a wide lot between the Pacific Ocean and the Oaxacan mountain range, only 70 meters from the waters edge. Designed by Anonimous architects as a two-family vacation home, which involved the creation of two different compounds of private rooms that are connected through common recreational areas.
The house consists of two main parts: a large central common area and two parallel arms located on the side of the lot containing the private suites. The large-scale central volume marks the access to the house, which has two main side entrances that pass through a lattice-wall, helping to ventilate the common spaces and creating a dynamic light pattern from dusk to dawn. This central volume is embodied in a high-ceilinged multipurpose public space containing a living room, a dining area and a bar. The volume is crowned by a 30-meter long ‘palapa’, a regional hedging technique made from dried palm leaves, which cools tropical temperatures down to around 23 ° C providing shade and space for heat to escape through the top of the frame.
A system of parallel concrete walls encloses the two arms with the private rooms of the house. Each of these arms houses three pavilions. Each master suite has its own framed view of the Pacific horizon. The pavilions are connected by a series of interlocking open courtyards that create the main views and entry points of the rooms, in addition to achieving cross ventilation so that the temperatures of the interior can be reduced. All the private rooms and the main central volume share the view and access in the centre to a swimming pool designed as a set of alternating levels, containing shaded recreational areas that look out to the ocean.
The building is strategically raised 5 feet above the ground, to avoid flooding from the well-known ocean swell that generally affects this area of the Puerto Escondido coast.
The main rooms, interlocking floor plans and high ceilings of the “Casa Cova” seek to remind us of the alternating heights of the massive chambers of the archaeological ruins of Mitla.