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Bunker-like concrete house built around a courtyard pool

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Featuring walls that look like pyramids

Concrete house with narrow concrete walkway in a courtyard. Rory Gardiner

What this concrete house lacks in coziness, it makes up for in sculptural appeal. Designed by Mexico City-based architect Ludwig Godefroy, the Zicatela House, named for a nearby beach in the port town of Puerto Escondido, Mexico, is built like a fortress. And like a port dwelling in ancient times, the home’s design channels “defensive” architecture.

Concrete walls wrap around the house, creating a protected courtyard on the interior. Stepped concrete blocks slant upward like pyramids from the inside, which make the courtyard feel a little like an intimate amphitheater.

Exterior of concrete house in a desert landscape. Rory Gardiner

“The house is a bunker on the outside, one of those massive concrete structures I used to see in Normandy, where I was born, protecting a Mexican pyramid on the inside, one of those I used to see when I travelled around in Mexico,” Godefroy explains.

The home centers around an almost labyrinthian outdoor space, complete with a shallow pool, narrow walkway, and angled nooks. Inside, continuous concrete walls create a moody atmosphere, contrasted only by sparse wooden furnishings and screens.

Door to house open to living room, Rory Gardiner
Courtyard with angled steps. Rory Gardiner
Bed overlooking shallow pool. Rory Gardiner
Pool and lawn inside concrete courtyard. Rory Gardiner