In the Mexican city of San Miguel de Allende, a retired couple commissioned architects Pérez Palacios and Alfonso de la Concha Rojas to build them a weekend refuge. In a city of multicolored houses and 17th and 18th century buildings, the subtle home is a far cry from the brightly-hued, eclectic design amalgam of the historic city centre. Casa La Quinta soothes the mind with a soft palette and clean, natural lines.
Upon inspecting the site, the architects were confronted with the high walls of the surrounding buildings. Opting to incorporate these into their design, the architects designed three outside areas within them. Born out of these limitations are three outside patios, completely walled-off. Stepping outside, the views of the surroundings are limited to the piercing blue sky above the house. As each patio is enclosed by four walls, there is always at least a sliver of shadow to offer respite from the hot Mexican sun.
There is always at least a sliver of shadow to offer respite from the hot Mexican sun.
Connecting to the largest yard and reaching two stories high, is the open-plan living room and dining area with exposed support beams in unvarnished wood. Muted textiles and warm wooden furniture complement the grey stone floors. An open fireplace ups the relax factor. Blurring the line between the interior and the outside, the stone floors continue into the largest patio, where a small pool makes for a refreshing dip. Black stone countertops contrast nicely with the wooden cabinets in the kitchen. Outside, a few steps lead you further down into a small gravelled garden terrace of small trees and succulents. As two bedrooms are placed on one side of the first floor, the master bedroom can be found on the other end, bordered by the third and smallest terrace. The bedrooms continue the same cosy design blend of wooden ceilings and furniture, offset with black detailing. The clean, but warm design language of the house, together with its secluded patios, makes for a true private sanctuary. Photography by Rafael Gamo