Pastel hues decorate New Haven's B-Natural Kitchen by Atelier Cho Thompson

B-Natural Kitchen by Atelier Cho Thompson

US studio Atelier Cho Thompson has contrasted soft and bold finishes in this restaurant in New Haven, Connecticut.

B-Natural Kitchen by Atelier Cho Thompson

Atelier Cho Thompson designed the restaurant to occupy a space in a historic building located near Yale University. Called B-Natural Kitchen, it serves up a menu filled with local and fresh ingredients.

Bright white-painted walls and ceiling provide a backdrop to details that include graphic plant-themed wallpaper, vibrant paint colours and a mix of materials.

B-Natural Kitchen by Atelier Cho Thompson

Tamboured wood fronts the rounded bar and service counter, which is topped with a multi-coloured terrazzo counter.

A series of banquets, a communal dining table and bar counters are designed to accommodate a combination of eating, socialising and working.

B-Natural Kitchen by Atelier Cho Thompson

Three semicircular plywood cutouts decorate the walls behind the seating banquette. Plywood also forms the worktop of a row of bar seating and tops a long family-style table.

“The total design aesthetic of the restaurant became a juxtaposition between crisp forms and gentle curves, between handmade materials like terrazzo and industrial materials like powder-coated steel, and between soft neutrals like concrete tile and bright hues like pink cushions,” the studio said.

Other furnishings in the space are readymade table stands updated with pink paint, pastel-green patio chairs, black bar stools and mismatched pendant light fixtures.

Some of the walls are coloured a dark greenish-blue to provide a contrast to paler elements. These include a mix of paint and dark wallpaper patterned with illustrations of salad leaves.

B-Natural Kitchen by Atelier Cho Thompson

In the bathroom, white tiles are filled with pink grout and coupled with a white terrazzo floor and pink wall.

Other details of the project are a wooden pegboard wall used for displaying the cafe’s series of branded products, which include artwork, T-shirts and tote bags.

B-Natural Kitchen by Atelier Cho Thompson

In addition to styling the interior, Atelier Cho Thompson also designed the cafe’s new logo and signage, which it said takes cues from farmer’s markets.

“We began with the restaurant’s primary mission: to serve fresh, seasonal food to a youthful clientele,” said the studio. “We developed approaches to branding and to interiors in parallel, each taking cues from the motifs of a farmer’s market.”

B-Natural Kitchen by Atelier Cho Thompson

Atelier Cho Thompson was founded by Christina Cho Yoo and Ming Thompson and has offices in San Francisco and New Haven.

New Haven is best-known as the home of Yale University. American studio HVS Design and London-based Alexander Waterworth Interiors have designed the boutique hotel The Blake, not far from the Ivy League school.

Photography is by Samara Vise.

Project credits:

Architect of record: Seed NH
Millwork fabricator: Hugo and Hoby

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Listen Up

Country-inflected pop, chopped-up Beyonce samples, carnivalesque chaos and more music from this week

King Princess: Ohio

After performing “Ohio” live with consistency since her first tour, King Princess (aka Mikaela Straus) finally releases an official recording and music video for the fan-favorite track. Both the song and visuals begin with quiet intimacy, and the latter introduces Straus wearing her theatrical Cheap Queen look. As with the song, the video soon explodes into an anthemic garage-rock performance, cut from captivating live renditions. “Ohio” will be included on the deluxe re-release of her debut album, Cheap Queen, out 14 February.

Grimes: Delete Forever

Written the night Lil Peep passed away, “Delete Forever” is pretty and airy, despite tackling the topic of opioid addiction. From Grimes’ fifth album Miss Anthropocene, the tune begins with acoustic guitar (reminiscent of “Wonderwall” by Oasis) before the beat kicks in around the 50-second mark. With country-inflected violin and banjo, the song has a different sound from the Canadian musician’s recent releases, but her breathy vocals are unmistakably familiar. The video—made in collaboration with Mac Boucher and Neil Hansen—depicts Grimes sitting on a throne somewhere in Gspace, an empire crumbled around her.

The Strokes: At The Door

In addition to confirming the release date of their Rick Rubin-produced sixth LP, The New Abnormal (10 April), The Strokes dropped the album’s epic lead single, “At The Door.” Arguably one of their most dynamic tracks, the near-six-minute number transitions from precise, minimal synth work to busier, beautiful Strokes-soundscapes; all of this is tied together with an eerie outro. Lead singer Julian Casablancas demonstrates the breadth of his vocal capabilities throughout. An animated official music video from writer/director Mike Burkaroff amplifies the tone of the track with sci-fi references and a nod to the ’80s cartoon Masters of The Universe.

Against All Logic: Fantasy

Using his performance alias Against All Logic, Nicolas Jaar releases a new album, 2017 – 2019, composed of industrial drums, sound effects and pop samples—plus plenty of Jaar’s signature distortions. A standout single and the album’s opening track, “Fantasy” employs all of the aforementioned but ups the ante by sampling Beyoncé’s 2003 collaboration with Sean Paul “Baby Boy” for its hook, as well as filtered Baglama-like instrumental work throughout. Though “Fantasy” can feel chaotic, it’s a whirling, speaker-wrecking downbeat bop.

Tame Impala: Is It True

From Tame Impala’s newest album, The Slow Rush, “Is It True” spotlights the band’s affection for funk-inspired bass lines and percussion. Strutting and sultry, the track’s instrumental sets the scene for frontman Kevin Parker’s love song: “We started talkin’ ’bout devotion / The kind that goes on eternally / And I tell her I’m in love with her / But, how can I know that I’ll always be?” The first and second verses flow into an infectious chorus that furthers the story, but they’re ultimately cut short by an airy, spacey breakdown.

Caleb Landry Jones: Flag Day / The Mother Stone

From actor and musician Caleb Landry Jones’ debut album, The Mother Stone (out 1 May on Sacred Bones), lead single “Flag Day / The Mother Stone” and its accompanying music video guide audiences down a psychedelic, cinematic rabbit hole. The seven-minute song sprawls outward with colorful, carnivalesque energy. Landry Jones recorded the track, and others from the album, using his personal collection of Casios and Yamahas, along with vintage equipment from producer Nic Jodoin.

Ras: Boogie

Sparse at first but ever-growing, Berlin-based disco trio Ras’ newest single, “Boogie,” is a bop that references Mediterranean club music, poolside pop, disco and funk. Members Dekel Adin, Eden Leshem and Guy Gefen hail from rural Israel, but after recording their self-titled debut album in Berlin, the trio stuck around and worked to contrast the city’s energetic, industrial house music with laidback beats and vintage-sounding vocals. It’s an infectious song that swells into a bongo-led anthem.

Listen Up is published every Sunday and rounds up the new music we found throughout the week. Hear the year so far on our Spotify channel.

This no-screws Dougong Table assembles like Lego and looks like art

Alright, who is ready for a table that looks like art and does not come with a frustrating IKEA assembly guide? Because Boston-based designer Mian Wei has created this beautiful piece of furniture that marries minimal aesthetic with cultural heritage. The Dougong blocks from ancient Chinese architecture play a central role in the build and concept of the grid table – think of it as an advanced Lego challenge! Mian Wei won the Silver A’Design Award for this grid table in the homeware and furniture category, showcasing his exceptional skills as a multimedia artist who brings to life ideas that blend industrial design and emotions seamlessly.

This is a no screws assembly – yes – there is no need to keep a track of the different screw sizes and the tiny anvil! The grid table relies on the ages-old Dougong method of interlocking blocks so effectively that it not only distributes weight evenly but also lays a strong foundation while experiencing history. The supporting structure (Dougong) is made of modular parts that can be easily disassembled and reassembled in need of storage and moving. The bracket connectors (Gong) slide easily into the beams (Dou) to form the weight-bearing structure and retain structural integrity when the table is being lifted. It is made of ash, maple, and plywood which brings tone and texture ‘to the table’ (I just had to take that opportunity!).

“This project, on the one hand, tries to go back to the root to reinvestigate the practicality and scalability and bring new life to the ancient tradition. On the other hand, the project seeks to explore new aesthetic possibilities of the structure with modern forms and production techniques” says Mian Wei. The grid table gives form to the visual of wisdom and can be a stand-alone accent piece in the room (while also holding your tea and books!) without being too bold. The table is minimal yet so intricate in what can only be described as ‘engineered art’. As the owner builds the table, the complexity fades away, and the sensible nature reveals itself – the complete opposite of what I have ever felt while assembling the simplest chest of drawers in my home.

Designer: Mian Wei

Zigzag roofs top extension in Melbourne by Austin Maynard Architects

RaeRae by Maynard Architects

Two terraces in Melbourne have been joined together and given an extension with a zigzag roof by Austin Maynard Architects.

Called RaeRae House, the project retains the facades of the original elongated terraces due to heritage requirements.

RaeRae by Maynard Architects

After initially planning to refurbish their house, when the neglected neighbouring property came up for sale the owners decided to purchase it and merge its footprint into a single, large plot with a garden.

Austin Maynard Architects kept small sections of the existing frontages containing an office and guest bedroom.

RaeRae by Maynard Architects

A glass corridor, sandwiched between the two existing frontages, leads through into the new L-shaped block.

The new buildings create a yard-like space as well as new facade to the street that runs along the site’s western edge.

RaeRae by Maynard Architects

“Initially it looks to be a fanciful design, an architectural mountain range, but at its core the house is responsive and strategic,” said the studio.

“The roof form is contextual, every rise and fall is tuned to minimise overshadowing and visual bulk, only truly apparent if it were studied from above.”

RaeRae by Maynard Architects

While the roofline and varied facade treatments give the impression of many individual buildings, the interior is in fact one large space.

Living areas and spaces for the parents are organised along the southern edge, with spaces for the children to the west.

RaeRae by Maynard Architects

These spaces can be subdivided or left open to one another using a series of sliding doors.

A secondary glazed corridor connects to the guest bedroom at the front of the home directly to the living area.

RaeRae by Maynard Architects

“Every part of the house can be a secluded space, closed off with hidden sliding doors, or opened up to be free flowing,” said the studio.

“The occupants can be engaged and connected or alone and private.”

RaeRae by Maynard Architects

In the living room, light is drawn in by an internal glazed courtyard that frames the brick wall of the existing terrace.

This light reached deeper into RaeRae House’s kitchen and dining room, each of which can open into the garden through a sliding door.

RaeRae by Maynard Architects

Above, a taller section of the block houses the master bedroom, accessed via a dark wood and black steel staircase.

The bedroom overlooks the garden thorough a large window surrounded by a metal canopy.

RaeRae by Maynard Architects

In the children’s block at the western end of the garden, a large play room sits at ground floor level.

A spiral metal staircase leads up to two bedrooms, connected by a small bridge that allows the space below to be overlooked.

RaeRae by Maynard Architects

Externally, ivory-coloured bricks and ash cedar board alternately define RaeRae House’s elevations.

White metal canopies and door surrounds extend into the garden.

RaeRae by Maynard Architects

Inside, white and wooden walls and ceilings that follow the steep pitch of the roofline create bright, open spaces.

Terrazzo flooring features in the common areas, and carpeted floors in the bedrooms.

RaeRae by Maynard Architects

Founded by Andrew Maynard in 2002, Austin Maynard Architects have completed numerous homes across Australia, including a shingle-clad extension to a bungalow in Canberra and a cylindrical, timber beach house in Victoria.

Photography is by Peter Bennetts.

Project credits:

Architect: Austin Maynard Architects
Builder: Overend Construction
Styling: Augie Interiors

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Seven vibrant homes that use colour to make a statement

Colourful homes roundup:

A growing number of designers are ridding homes of nondescript magnolia walls and instead painting surfaces a rainbow of colours. We pick out seven striking examples.

Colourful apartments roundup:

Nagatachō Apartment, Japan, by Adam Nathaniel Furman

Sugary shades permeate this Tokyo apartment designed by Adam Nathaniel Furman. In the kitchen, candy-pink cabinetry juxtaposes watermelon-green vinyl on the floor, while lilac carpet in the dining room is meant to recall icing on a sponge cake. There are also “zesty” lemon-yellow fixtures in the bathrooms.

“The colour scheme became a matter of choosing ingredients for a beautifully calibrated visual feast,” Furman told Dezeen.

Find out more about the Nagatachō Apartment

Colourful apartments roundup:

Waterfront Nikis Apartment, Greece, by Stamatios Giannikis

Architect Stamatios Giannikis selected three hues to organise living spaces within this Grecian apartment. Functional areas like the kitchen and bathroom are pistachio green, while deep-blue paint has been applied across street-facing rooms, channelling the colour of the nearby waves.

Spaces that have direct views of the Mediterranean Sea have been completed in a contrasting shade of coral-pink.

“The use of bold colour in the design of [the apartment] is done in an effort to complement and strengthen the power of the sea view, not to suppress it,” Giannikis explained.

Find out more about the Waterfront Nikis Apartment

Colourful apartments roundup:

Hidden Tints, Sweden, by Note Design Studio

Note Design Studio decided to shun the typically restrained Scandinavian colour palette for the overhaul of this 19th-century family home.

The main shades that have been applied across its ornately bordered walls – pink, sage-green, and pale yellow – were inspired by the colour of three original tiled ovens which were found on the property.

“The approach to colour in architecture in the old days was much braver than we see today,” the studio explained, “it deserves it’s place again.”

Find out more about Hidden Tints

Colourful apartments roundup:

Twin Peaks Residence, Hong Kong, by Lim + Lu

Design studio Lim + Lu added colour to the formerly bland interiors of this apartment in Hong Kong to more acutely reflect the flamboyant personality of its owner, a fashion designer hailing from Paris.

To avoid the home seeming “over the top”, coral-orange and sunshine-yellow furnishings are offset by soothing pale-pink walls. Some of the cabinets have also been clad in shiny gold-hued panels to add textural interest.

Find out more about Twin Peaks Residence

Colourful apartments roundup:

Polychrome House, Australia, by Amber Road and Lymesmith

Designed to offer a “joyful” living experience, the aptly named Polychrome House is decked out with an explosion of different hues – as well as a brick-red kitchen, it also boasts pink bathrooms and a lounge area anchored by a lime-green sofa.

The focal point of the property is a bold wall mural that features multi-coloured abstract patches, intended to resemble land formations on a map.

Find out more about Polychrome House

Colourful apartments roundup:

London house, UK, by R2 Studio

A vibrant colour palette helped R2 Studio reinvigorate the formerly cramped and light-starved rooms within this Victorian-era home in London’s Kennington neighbourhood.

The ground floor is mostly green – in a nod to the foliage seen in the back garden – while the two staircases have respectively been completed in orange and vermillion red. “Cold and shiny” surfaces in the kitchen have also been traded for playful blue and yellow cabinetry.

Find out more about London house

Colourful apartments roundup:

Mixtape Apartment, Spain, by Azab

Azab applied vivid hues throughout this Bilbao apartment after its retired owner said they felt the home had become “blurred in a greyish mood”.

It now includes a baby-pink kitchen suite, cherry-red sliding doors and a colourful abstract carpet, offering a bold backdrop to the client’s array of ornate wooden furnishings.

Find out more about the Mixtape Apartment

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Winter Sun in Iceland

Photographe professionnelle établie en Islande depuis plusieurs années, Patricja Pati Makowska se passionne pour la nature et les jeux de lumière offerts par le coucher ou le lever du soleil. Avec sa série « Texture of the Mt Esja in the Winter Sun » ,  elle livre une série d’images du Mont Esja, un massif montagneux volcanique qui surplombe Reykjavik. Capturés depuis depuis l’église Hallgrímskirkja, située dans la capitale, ses paysages arctiques sont sublimés par la lumière rosée offerte par le soleil.  


Discover all the Serpentine Pavilions on this week's Pinterest board

Serpentine Gallery has unveiled the design of this year’s Serpentine Pavilion. Use our Pinterest board to explore images of all the projects from the past 20 years. Follow Dezeen on Pinterest or visit our updated board to see more.

Diébédo Francis Kéré’s 2017 Serpentine Pavilion featured a tree-inspired roof canopy

The most recent collaborations include Junya Ishigami’s 2019 pavilion, which features a rocky canopy made out of 61 tonnes of Cumbrian slate and a pavilion that references the courtyards typical of Mexican residential architecture, designed by Frida Escobedo in 2018.

SelgasCano’s pavilion consisted of two layers of coloured plastic wrapped around a white steel frame

Other projects you can browse on our board show the 2015 pavilion designed by SelgasCano, which was wrapped in brightly coloured plastic, as well as a cloud-like structure made from a lattice of steel poles, created by Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto in 2013.

Dezeen’s Pinterest account features thousands of images, organised into hundreds of boards. Follow us on Pinterest to keep up to date with our latest pins.

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Pentagram and Yoto design screen-free audio player for children

Tech startup Yoto teamed up with Pentagram to develop an interactive audio toy that plays stories, music, radio and podcasts for children without the need for a screen.

Yoto CEO Ben Drury and CCO Tom Ballhatchet worked with Pentagram partners Jon Marshall and Luke and Jody Hudson-Powell to develop a product that “prioritised kids being in control”.

The Yoto Player’s simple design has a slot where physical cards are inserted and two buttons that can be pushed and twisted for playback and audio control.

Yoto called in Pentagram to revamp and build on the foundations of their first Yoto Player, which was launched in 2015.

The studio was responsible for the industrial design of the audio player, as well as the visual identity, packaging, and website and app design.

“Pentagram was able to work with this ‘baggage’ and set up a process that was really quite collaborative and that always anchored children and parents in the heart of the design,” said Ballhatchet.

“What impressed me most was the way Pentagram managed to navigate the creative tensions within the broader team,” he added. “We brought our opinions with us!”

“It was a collaborative creative process where we were able to respond in a way that positively moved things to a better place.”

Instead of a screen, the device features a 16-by-16-pixel colour display on its front surface that projects some feedback and interactive content without distracting from the audio.

The content cards are divided into six categories: Stories, Music, Podcast, Activities, Sound Effects and Radio.

Users can also purchase a Make Your Own card, which allows children to draw and upload their own homemade content.

The device has an angled back allowing it to be placed upright on a table or shelf, or tipped upwards so that the display faces the child when being used on the floor.

A bedtime mode can be activated when the device is turned on its face, putting the display to sleep and activating a nightlight on the back.

It also has a battery, allowing it to be used anywhere, and a magnetic dock, so children can charge it safely themselves when necessary.

“It’s not often that you get to work with a company that’s solving something that affects your home life so directly,” said Jody Hudson-Powell.

“Both Luke and I have young families, and we instantly felt really passionate about the product and its potential – hopefully this is captured in the brand we’ve created alongside the Yoto team.”

“The challenge we set ourselves was to create an identity that worked for the entire family, hopefully we got that right too,” she added.

Hudson-Powell developed the Yoto visual identity to work across print, online and on the Yoto Player’s 16-by-16-pixel display.

They refined Yoto’s original smiling face logo to match the new typography style – Castledown by Colophon Foundry, which was selected as its letterforms mimicked the action of drawing letters used by children when they first learn to write.

Cheerful illustrations have been made to match across the content cards and packaging.

The designers opted for a colour palette that looked both playful and modern, appealing to both children and their parents.

Coral and grey is used on the product itself, while forest greens and sandy tones can be seen on the packaging. Primary colours of yellow, green, red, blue, pink and orange have been used for the content cards.

“It was fascinating to collaborate with Yoto on the design of the Yoto player – a product where every detail from the card slot to the charging dock and the three different orientations aims to put children in control of their own experience, helping to awake their imagination through stories and music,” said Marshall.

Pentagram is one of the world’s largest design consultancies, and has previously created new brand identities for the workplace messaging system Slack and Mastercard.

In its most recent project for Yahoo, the agency overhauled the search engine’s logo to be more simple and flexible while also referencing the brand’s “Looney Toons-style” logo from 1996.

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What Designers can do to design irresistible products

Hi, I am Kelly from Knack, where we help mobility brands make their products irresistible. I’ve come to realize that designing irresistible products feels elusive. High hopes and good intentions pour into one end of the product development pipeline and mundane products squirt out the other.
You see plenty of seductive product designs on Pinterest and here on Yanko, so you know it’s possible. But what exactly do the designers of these products do differently in order to achieve irresistibility?
If you want to elevate your products out of the sea of obscurity and into the pond of “gotta have it”, you need to do these five things:

1. Don’t Believe The Brief

Unless you were involved in writing the brief, you should never take the brief as truth. Instead, set the brief aside, ignore the scope, and first get to the heart of the problem you’ve been asked to solve.
How on earth do you do this? It’s quite simple actually. Listen. Listen and then ask why. Then, keep asking questions until you reveal the root of the problem.
As designers, our first job is to investigate. As Chris Do states, “Your value is determined by the quality of questions you ask.”
Imagine going into a surgeon’s office complaining of chest pain. When you tell him that you probably have a clogged artery, he says “OK” and wheels you into the O.R. to begin operating on you.
Wait, what?! There’s no way you’d go for that.
You expect the surgeon to ask you some probing questions, run a few diagnostic tests, and consult with other doctors to either validate your self-diagnosis or discover the true cause of your pain.
Just as you are not the healthcare expert, your client isn’t the design expert. Why are you letting them diagnose their own condition and then write the prescription?

2. Cut Out The Jargon

Now imagine you roll into a tire shop with a flat. You ask them to repair the tire you already have, explaining that your budget is tight and you are in a hurry to get back to work.
Instead of following your orders directly, they take a minute to look at your tire and the mechanic says, “A plug? You want a plug? It’s going to take me thirty minutes to dismount, submerge and inspect. I’ve got a low-mileage replacement. Do you want that instead?”
What if instead, the mechanic had explained to you that rather than repairing the tire, they can replace the flat with a used tire to get you back on the road twenty minutes sooner? While the replacement will cost $15 more, the used tire will last much longer, saving you money in the long run.
We have to educate our clients on the proper design process. We do that by first speaking their language (not ours), aligning what we are saying with their goals (why should they care?), and being available to answer their questions.

3. Just Walk Away

A hot project opportunity pops up in your inbox and you’re stoked. You jump on a call with the potential client and in response to your thoughtful questioning, the client exclaims, “Everyone is our customer!” You explain that knowing who your specific target customer is and having a deep understanding of them is the difference between a product that drives demand and one that flops.
The client cuts you off mid-sentence to tell you that they are short on time and need to start the design work right away. They don’t have time for research and just need you to execute the design vision that they have in their heads.
If you’ve genuinely listened, thoughtfully explained to your prospect the best way to solve their problem and they still insist on cutting corners, it’s your job to say “no, thanks.”
Don’t make an exception, don’t lower your standards, just walk away. Stand up for yourself, the design process, and what’s best for the client… even if they disagree.
Designing good products requires saying no to bad projects.

4. Stop Thinking Design Is Everything

At the end of the day, design makes up less than 10% of the entire product launch process. Instead of assuming that design trumps all, you must understand the big picture of the product launch battle your client is up against. Acting like design is the only thing that matters will actually hurt the final product.
Instead, we must strive for a more frequent and seamless collaboration between all of the product development teams. Compromise is inevitable, so if your team members can deliberately pick the compromises that are in the best interest of the overall product strategy, you’ll be on your way to irresistibility.

5. Push It

Now that you’ve recognized that you’re just one piece of a massive endeavor, you must make sure that you are delivering an unparalleled contribution. In other words, mediocre ain’t gonna cut it. Heck, excellent might not even be enough to achieve an irresistible product.
Bring the heat and do everything in your power to push the design to be the best it can be. Take a break and then find a way to improve it one step further.

Use these five tools to lay the groundwork for an irresistible product. If the proper foundation can’t be set, walk away and go find an opportunity that’ll embrace your superpowers.


Kelly Custer is the Founder + Design Director of Knack
Pairing her transportation design education from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan with over 8 years of design consulting experience in consumer products, Kelly has built a strong passion for mobility. She founded Knack in 2014 and leads the studio to deliver irresistible simple mobility products.
When she’s not in the studio, she can be found on a mountain bike trail, trying to keep up with her husband on her dirt bike, or exploring the Tennessee river on their vintage stand-up jet skis.
Follow Knack on Instagram

Vaulted concrete roof tops brick house Casa Martha by Naso

Casa Martha by Naso

Architecture studio Naso has built a pale earthen brick house on a sloping site in rural Mexico to replace a property left devastated by the country’s deadly 2017 earthquake.

Naso designed Casa Martha as part of the initiative led by Mexican organisation ReConstruir México to rebuild 50 houses left at risk following the natural disaster.

Casa Martha by Naso

Measuring 484 square feet (45 square metres), the property is located on rugged terrain set between Malinalco, a distinguished tourist site and pilgrimage site Chalma.

The residence provides the home for a family composed of an elderly couple, who have difficulty walking, and their two children who are over 40 years old.

Casa Martha by Naso

The key aims of the project were to make the home easily accessible for the parents, create adequate spaces for socialising and privacy, and also find a way to allow the family to make an additional income.

“The family situation and their conditions were a starting point for the project,” Naso said.

Casa Martha by Naso

In response, the firm designed the house which comprises two distinct volumes: a curved concrete roof structure placed above a single-storey rectangular unit.

The ground floor portion contains the kitchen, living and dining room and two bedrooms, including one for the parents so that they can live on one level.

The third bedroom is placed in a smaller volume on top, defined by the arched concrete roof.

“For this reason, having the third bedroom independent to the rest of the house allows us to think of an economic model that could support the family’s income through future rentals on distinct platforms or independent social contracts,” the studio added.

Casa Martha by Naso

An exterior staircase means that it can be accessed separately from the main living areas, and could therefore be rented out to tourists visiting the area.

“This is how the house, in a very small area, has the possibility of accommodating different ways of life whilst offering a stable, social and independent future to a family that needs it,” the studio said.

“Formally, the presence of this room adds character to the project through a concrete vault that refers us to the surrounding mountains, while responding to the rainy climate of the area.”

Casa Martha by Naso

Apart from the roof, all main components of the house – the walls, ceilings, floors and built-in counters – are constructed using compressed earth blocks manufactured on-site.

A set of sliding doors, painted red, front the exterior to allow the residents to open the house’s social areas to the outdoors. The same coloured red paint also details the window frames and stair railings.

Casa Martha by Naso

“The nucleus or the public space of the house can be opened completely using sliding doors and this not only integrates the exterior into the house, but also will end up functioning as a large porch allowing its inhabitants to be immersed within the natural and social landscape that surrounds them,” the studio said.

The bricks are left exposed inside the house and complemented by simple wooden furnishings that include a dining table with several chairs, a small shelving unit in the kitchen and beds.

Casa Martha by Naso

The deadly quake took place on 19 September 2017, with an epicentre in the state of Puebla. It killed over 350 people, with major destruction across the states of Puebla and Morelos, as well as the Greater Mexico City area, where over 40 buildings collapsed.

Mexican architect Rozana Montiel also recently completed a small house for victims of the earthquake.

Other reconstruction projects built by Mexican architects in response to the natural disaster include a brick arcade in Jojutla and a temporary pavilion erected alongside a pond that was turned into community centre.

Photography is by Maureen M. Evans.

Project credits:
Design Team: Patricio Aldrett, Julia Ruiz – Cabello
Landscape Design: Aldaba
Furniture Design: Nomah

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