Abandoned House Becomes Authentic Yucatán Holiday Dwelling When we think of Mexican state and eponymous peninsula Yucatán, a certain asteroid responsible for the dinosaurs’ mass extinction 66 million years ago comes to mind. Luckily, these days, things are a lot more relaxed and inviting, like the newest design project by architect David Cervera. David’s refreshing summer house Casa RP leaves a lasting impression, emitting laid-back beach vibes that invite explorers from around the world to spend their holidays on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. Erected on the foundations of an old building in the port of San Crisanto, David successfully preserved the Casa’s signature features, such as the original wall patterns, while redesigning the kitchen and creating a terrace and a pool with a view of the seaside. The building also touches on regional identity, with the finish on the walls made of Chukum, a local material obtained from the roots of the indigenous Chukum tree. THE PLUS spoke to David to find out about how he kept balance between preserving original features, realising his own ideas and dealing with challenging clients. TP: It’s a beautiful building – how did you feel when the project came through? Was it exciting? David Cervera: Of course, it was very exciting. The client was very involved in the project and in the construction. Thus, it was quite hard to deal with them, but in the end we made it and the client was very satisfied with the result. TP: What’s it like working with Chukum? Had you used it before? DC: Yes, we used Chukum in some projects before, for example like the beach house El Palmar. It’s a little bit difficult to work with. If you as the architect or the client wants to change something, even just a small modification, you have to change the entire render of that layer. TP: Can you tell us about the patterns on the wall? Were they part of the original design? DC: Yes, they were! The pattern on the frontage wall is a kind of tropical celosia plant. This acts as like a tribute to the typical houses in the location of Yucatan. In the original building, the pattern was only featured on first floor. We added it to the second floor. TP: You used a touch of pale turquoise on some walls. Why did you choose this colour? DC: Quite honestly, I can’t really tell you why. I presume it’s because I love the colour blue! TP: How did the renovation process go? Any big challenges? DC: It was quite hard indeed. The original house was in bad condition, so it took a lot of work to get into shape. TP: Did you design the furniture? Where did you source it from? DC: We gave a proposal in the initial design draft. The client tweaked it a little, but it’s still quite similar to our idea. TP: Were the clients happy the result? DC: The client was happy with the final result, but getting there wasn’t easy. There was a lot of tension between us in the last month, but we got over it and now all of us are happy.