I love watching some House Hunter's International, especially when they're hunting for homes in Merida, Mexico, on the Yucatan peninsula. I keep trying to get Carlos the retire there, and every time I see a house like this one, the push gets, well, pushier.
The home was built around an ancient Zapote tree, arranged in such a way so as not to harm the tree at all, but to make it a focal point. The space was optimized by reusing the entire existing Colonial structure, rearranging the rooms, and creating openings capable of incorporating ventilation and lighting favorable for each and every area of the home.
A new building was added on the east side, near the Zapote tree and along with the original home, creates a cozy and intimate central courtyard that makes it possible for public areas to open to the north and east, and to the wide backyard surrounded by the greenery.
This reconfiguration allows all the rooms in the residence to have contact with the outdoors, making the feeling of living outdoors but with all the advantages and comfort of the interior. A new upper floor houses the master bedroom, which literally appears to float on the branches of the zapote.
Due to the abundant sliding glass walls, the home can be interpreted as a terrace with the boundaries of interior and exterior are either blurred or practically nonexistent. All exterior walls and the pool are finished with polished white cement prepared with “chucum” water, a conventional strategy that creates an impermeable surface with greater durability and no need for paint.
Other areas of the home incorporate more traditional aspects of Mexican homes, like the mosaic cement floors; the existing floors on the first floor were saved and brought back to life. Upstairs the floors are bamboo inside and Dzalam outdoors, in keeping with the idea of a Tree House.
I could live in a Tree House; I could retire to a Tree House.