TULUM, Mexico – In a remarkable transformation that melds history with modern design, Casa Caracol by SIJIL has breathed new life into a replica pyramid inspired by the Tulum castle, turning it into a unique vacation living space. This architectural endeavor has achieved an awe-inspiring symmetrical open plan with a central board of nine bays, resulting in a spacious and inviting interior.
Upon approaching the main entrance, which is thoughtfully oriented to the Northwest, visitors are greeted by a sight that is nothing short of breathtaking. A carved wooden jaguar stands proudly, bathed in the gentle glow of a circular window, casting an enchanting aura. The use of exposed concrete shapes the naturally-lit resting area, offering a perfect blend of traditional and contemporary aesthetics.
Moving deeper into the living space, one is immediately struck by the design’s inspiration, described as being ‘inspired by a snake feathered in stone and coiled.’ This theme manifests in a simple yet striking geometric composition, adorned with stepped levels that add an elegant dynamism to the room. The artistic touch of Rigoberto Orozco, drawing inspiration from Sian Ka’an’s ‘Heaven,’ along with a concrete sculpture by the same artist, harmoniously complements the overall ambiance.
A focal point of this extraordinary living space is a large sculpted table that defies convention. Anchored securely to the floor, it cantilevers effortlessly, symbolizing the contrasting forces of weight and lightness. Between the private bedrooms and this remarkable table lies a double-height space, where a statue of a seated man raises his hands in an expression of gratitude. This generates a palpable tension that draws attention to the installation of the sculpture by Luciano Matus, a suspended bronze ‘metate hand.’ The composition, with its striking visual language, bears an intriguing resemblance to the inverted shape of the pyramid, symbolizing the passage of time and evolution.
The bedrooms within Casa Caracol feature simple stone finishes, providing a serene contrast to the dynamic common areas. The master bedroom, in particular, boasts a monolithic onyx tub and sauna, adding a touch of opulence to the space. Meanwhile, the guest bedroom incorporates a pool within a Spanish patio, offering a unique and refreshing retreat for visitors.
SIJIL’s architectural vision artfully reinterprets the past while skillfully bridging connections with the present. Casa Caracol stands as a testament to the potential of architectural innovation and historical reverence, offering a captivating living experience within the heart of Tulum, Mexico. This remarkable transformation encapsulates the essence of Tulum’s rich heritage and its ever-evolving spirit.
All images by Jaime Navarro.