Nature and Light Transform a High-Walled Home in Mexico

PPAA La Quinta - primary bedroom

Pérez Palacios Arquitectos Asociados (PPAA) remodeled a home in the Mexican highlands for a retired couple. Photos by Rafael Gamo


September 11, 2023

Walter, a German short-haired pointer, trots out of the renovated primary bedroom to check on his owners. Pablo Pérez Palacios, lead architect at Pérez Palacios Arquitectos Asociados (PPAA), holds his newborn while Walter wags his stubby tail. Now that La Quinta, a home in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico has been restored for a retired couple, Walter’s family can relax.

The weekend getaway was completed in 2018. PPAA’s team, Pablo Pérez Palacios + Alfonso de la Concha Rojas, Miguel Vargas, Blas Treviño, and Jorge Quiroga, were assigned a home with high, concrete walls, making the two-story residence like a fortress. Some of these walls actually belong to the neighboring properties, so they couldn’t be removed. Unfortunately, this kind of privacy blocked views of the mountainous landscape, sterilizing an otherwise peaceful accommodation.

PPAA La Quinta - the pool

Perfect for entertaining, the new pool takes center stage in La Quinta.

Working with such limitations, PPAA rearranged the floor plan entirely, carving out three new outdoor spaces so that their retired clients could remember the nature that attracted them to the region. The largest space is the pool, placed in the center of the home’s floor plan and directly accessible from the living room, making it the central spot for entertainment. A small courtyard trails off the kitchen, where a young, scraggly tree will eventually become a lush source of shade for a garden. On the second floor, the primary bedroom opens out into a private patio, where one can sneak in views of the town.

The architects carved into the facade, creating large apertures that give full views into these new outdoor spaces, as well as maximize light in what could be a very dark space. The ground floor also embraces an open-concept, which keeps “the social space without divisions and boundaries with the outdoor space.”

Integrating voids is PPAA’s signature. On their website, they write, “We see voids as a new, open possibility for unexplored and unexpected architectural programs.”

Instead of showing off an empty, inert home, photographer Rafael Gamo demonstrates La Quinta’s liveliness by showcasing Pablo, his family, and associates swimming in the pool, lounging in the hammock, and dining in the living room. His wife and child sit at a Calle 20 tzalam table while Walter stretches out in front of a sofa.

Walter makes frequent appearances as a model, stretching out in front of an Artell armchair, snoozing by BoConcept’s wiry patio chairs, and running past Tecnolite’s straw pendant lamps. All the brands are manufactured in Mexico, showing PPAA’s pride for their country.

Though La Quinta was made for a retired couple seeking a weekend retreat, PPAA shows that it can cater to a house full of children and pets. No longer walled off from nature, the outdoor environments will nurture any family.

PPAA La Quinta - kitchen

A kitchen fit for entertaining

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