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A moody concrete home plays with light and shadows

Hello darkness my old friend

A concrete house with a blue front door features an enclosed courtyard with cactus and succulent plants. Sergio López

Concrete isn’t always cozy. In fact, most of the time, it can be downright austere. But this house in Mexico City from Mexican architecture studio Tanat, uses the material to a warm and moody effect.

A narrow kitchen with light wood cabinets has blue cabinets down below, a blue door at the end of a hallway, and glass doors that open to the courtyard. Sergio López

Named Nostos for the greek word for “returning home,” the house was designed for a resident who returned to the Coyoacán neighborhood. The architects wanted to create a house that blended indoors with outdoors by opening the concrete-clad rooms to walled courtyards through a series of glassy doors.

The home’s facade is a hint of what’s to come inside. A powdery cobalt door slides open in the internal courtyard and welcomes visitors into a concrete walled space with pops of blue throughout.

A dimly lit living room with concrete floors. Light streams in from a door on the right side, while a white built-in sofa sits on the left. Sergio López

The brightly lit kitchen is a narrow strip of real estate that’s boxed in by floor to ceiling windows. Elsewhere, like in the living room, the house takes on a perfectly melancholy atmosphere thanks to low-slung ceilings, a skylight, and judicious use of windows that let in a soft, ethereal glow.

A dark bedroom with drawn curtains and concrete walls. The only light from the room comes from a skylight on the left. Sergio López