Temple architecture

Ludwig Godefroy’s Casa TO is a “reinterpretation of an Oaxacan temple”

Architect Ludwig Godefroy used concrete to create a cavernous structure with a central pool designed to aid natural cooling for a hotel on Mexico’s Pacific Coast.

The two-story hotel – located in La Punta Zicatela near Puerto Escondido – contains nine rooms and covers 600 square meters.

“The name, Casa TO, comes from the idea of ​​serene contemplation of an enclosed space, like the reinterpretation of an Oaxacan temple, generating a radical sensory experience upon entering,” the hotel said.

Casa To by Ludwig Godefroy is located in a tropical town in Mexico

According to the hotel, the project required a structure that provided cooling during the day to cope with the hot temperatures of the region.

To do this, Godefroy designed gardens for the six rooms on the ground floor and terraces and outdoor baths for the rooms above.

The lobby of the Casa To hotel
The architect wanted to merge the hotel with the exterior

All rooms have been arranged to one side of the property and given multiple exposures to create cross breezes to help cool the interiors.

The center of the space is occupied by a swimming pool that runs the length of the property. The walls, floors, and ceilings of this space are cast-in-place concrete, giving it a cavernous quality.

It’s flanked by tiered seating, which brings guests from their suites to the water or up to a rooftop to take in views of the surrounding jungle.

According to the hotel, “the structure evokes the reticulated pattern of two historic hydraulic works of timeless beauty” citing Istanbul’s 6th-century Yerebatan Sarayi and Hornsey Wood Reservoir in London as inspirations.

A man sitting near a hotel swimming pool
A swimming pool runs the length of the building

Transversal walls pierced with large circular openings cross the pool and divide the space into smaller areas that offer more privacy to guests.

“The interior views create an oasis surrounded by the sky, the weight of the walls and the vegetation of climbing plants and fruit trees, including bananas and passion fruit,” he added.

An aerial view of a hotel swimming pool in a courtyard
Raw concrete was used throughout the exterior and interior

Raw concrete has been used throughout the hotel and left as an exposed finish in guest rooms and public areas. The material has also been used for built-in furniture, such as benches, shelves, vanities, and even guest beds.

“Casa TO’s natural surroundings defined the interior design, inspired by the natural pattern of a Madagascar Blue Bismarck (Bismarckia Nobilis) palm tree standing on the original site,” the hotel explained.

The interior of Casa To by Ludwig Godfrey
The walls of Casa To are pierced with large circular openings

Interiors are softened by bespoke furniture designed by local artisans, colorful rugs and tapestries, and an abundance of potted plants.

“Godefroy intertwines aesthetics and functionality, emphasizing the honesty of raw material textures, such as concrete, steel, clay and wood,” the hotel said.

“Furniture built by expert carpenters from Puebla, Guadalajara and Oaxaca conveys a sense of simplicity and delicacy,” Casa TO said.

Pieces seen in the hotel can be purchased by guests “under a fair trade model”, according to the hotel.

A room inside a hotel
The interior is informed by the surrounding landscape

Ludwig Godefroy is a Mexico City-based architect who established his practice in 2011.

Other projects his eponymous company has completed include a house in Mérida inspired by Mayan architecture and another property in La Punta Zicatela with an introverted design that the architect likens to a “fortress”.

The photography is by Jaime Navarro.