Nestled atop a hill overlooking the Zicatela beach in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico, sits a unique weekend retreat: The Zicatela House. Completed in 2015 and designed by Ludwig Godefroy, this weekend retreat, an escape from the bustling Mexico City, is a symphony of duality—paying homage to its contrasting surroundings of the tranquil beach and rugged agave fields. Constructed as an open-sky fortress, it presents a harmonious blend of defensive architecture and open space concept, blurring the boundaries between indoors and outdoors. The design is an intriguing fusion of Godefroy’s roots in Normandy and his experiences in Mexico, encapsulating a Mexican pyramid within a structure reminiscent of Normandy’s formidable bunkers. The Zicatela House is more than a structure—it’s a testament to tradition, innovation, and the fusion of diverse cultures.
Zicatela House Technical Information
- Architects: Ludwig Godefroy Architecture
- Location: Puerto Escondido , Oaxaca, México
- Topics: Mexican Houses, Concrete in Architecture
- Area: 200 m2
- Project Year: 2015
- Photographs: © Rory Gardiner
The house is based on this duality, the duality of its surroundings and it´s able to respond to the mountains and be protective as a fortress as well as a widely open space; giving you the feeling to live outside in a garden, making the border between in and out disappear.– Ludwig Godefroy
Zicatela House Photographs
Duality by Design: An Architectural Sanctuary Amidst Oaxaca’s Contrasting Landscapes
Text by the Architects
Zicatela house is a small weekend house located on top of a hill in front of Zicatela Beach, next to Puerto Escondido in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico.
The house was designed with one main purpose: to give the owner the opportunity to leave Mexico City to make a break from the megalopolis and urban habits by coming to get some rest and relax while enjoying the heat of the Mexican coast and the peaceful light of Oaxaca.
This house responds to a double landscape, on one side in the background, the beach and the sea, and on the other side, the mountains and agave fields, the plant from which is made mezcal and tequila. This project has a very interesting personality of being a countryside house next to the sea instead of a beach house.
The house is based on this duality, the duality of its surroundings, and it’s able to respond to the mountains and be protective as a fortress as well as a vast open space, giving you the feeling of living outside in a garden, making the border between in and out disappear.
Zicatela house is built on a small 300 m2 plot, using a typology of defensive architecture, where a wall surrounds the terrain completely, helping create a 100% controlled area on the inside, turning it into an open-sky fortress, with only one main view towards the sky, the only permanent element in time.
The house is a bunker on the outside, one of those massive concrete structures I used to see in Normandy -where I was born-protecting a Mexican pyramid on the inside, one of those I used to see when I travel around in Mexico, the country where it’s been ten years now I live and work.
Zicatela House Plans
Zicatela House Image Gallery
About Ludwig Godefroy
Ludwig Godefroy is a French architect known for his work in Mexico. He gained recognition for his unique architectural style, which often combines traditional elements with contemporary design principles. Bold geometric forms, strong connections to nature, and local materials and craftsmanship integration characterize Godefroy’s creations. His projects often exhibit a harmonious blend of cultural influences, paying homage to both his European roots and the rich architectural history of Mexico.