CO-LAB Design Office’s Casa Areca readily welcomes visitors with complimentary cool shades of palm leaves. Surrounded by a secret garden of Areca Palms, the three-storey residence is located by the beach town of Tulum, Mexico. Draped in accents of creamy chai and cashmere-like colours, this AirBnB listed holiday home aims to relax.
Casa Areca’s design is predominately influenced by the existing palms on the site – resulting in a relatively narrow footprint on the large rectilinear block. Although, the additional two levels above ground makes the house a surprising 285 square metres, made possible by straightforward planning.
Leading up to the singular garden path, the entrance opens up to a spacious open kitchen, living and dining area, framed by floor to ceiling black-framed glass doors operable to transform the house into an oversized alfresco zone.
With such a large garden space to work with, the architects introduce a large deck to accommodate the oversized doors, as well as a swimming pool. Upstairs contains four luxurious bedrooms, each provided with an en-suite for that extra bit of self-care before capping off with a lovely rooftop garden that offers a tree-house-esque experience as the branched of the overgrowing tree whimsically spill into the space.
Beyond the aesthetic front, the house is embedded with environmentally conscious attributes. Solar panels are installed to take advantage of the sun and windows are positioned to embrace the cross-ventilating breeze. Added in with the polished concrete stone floor, the temperature inside is modestly balanced by the harmonious relationship between internal and external elements.
Externally, Casa Areca is made of CMU blocks and concrete walls with ridges printed by wooden sticks to represent the movement of the sun. Internally, CO-LAB confidently create implied negative space with a careful selection of material and colour. Soft burnt-macadamia tones offset the walls and semi-floating staircases to cast a warming glow. Solid inbuilt shelves and island benches are gently embraced by locally harvested timber used in cabinetry. Harvesting vibes that match a romantic film set are further embellished with custom joinery designed in collaboration between the architects and Yucatan artisans.
In such a space of warmth and dreams – Casa Areca definitely sells the dream of a summer getaway. Everything feels soft despite the hard edges – and the image of the sun rays across my face while admiring the complimentary greens – have me dreaming of my next summer adventure.