Friday Cabins #64: Big Vibes at Casa Tiny
A Mexican surf shack made of concrete and inspired by New England transcendentalism
It's Friday, which means most important of all, another installment of Friday Cabins. Every week we bring you eco-architecture and cabin projects from around Ms. Earth that inspire and impress, but most of all, fuel escapist daydreams. So join us, why don’t ya.
Today? Well, May is here and it's cold here in Nueva York, but what can we expect at this point? Maybe summer in October? At least it means getting dressed stays interesting…
To manifest some warmth, we're taking a look at a now-famed surf shack way down south in Mexico, just north of Puerto Escondido. It’s called Casa Tiny. You have read about it. Or seen it on one of the many IG arch moodboards. Either way, it’s worth another look. Because it's not just any old shack, oh no, it's a contemporary, concrete oasis just steps away from a private beach along the Pacific Ocean. There's a brick oven, a private pool, and all the minimalist vibes one could ask for to reconnect with nature. And best of all, you can rent it for a reasonable $211 per night.
So read on and enjoy your wknd :)
🏄Casa Tiny Is a Minimalist's Dream Retreat
From Mexico City to Tulum to Puerto Verde, and basically, anywhere, Mexico has seen an influx of visitors in recent years, for good and bad. The subdued surf town of Puerto Escondido is no different, although a certain sleepy, oceanside vibe still remains due to its remote fishing village roots.
Already established as a premiere surf and food destination, in recent years the area has just begun to be known for its art and architecture, helped along by the bougie Hotel Escondido and the art-complex Casa Wabi—designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Tado Ando and founded by celebrated artist Bosco Sodi. Along the same stretch of otherwise deserted jungle/beach sits Casa Tiny, owned by Sodi’s brother and designed by architect Aranza de Ariño.
Completed around 2015, Casa Tiny is one of Ariño's first built projects, commissioned by her friend Claudio Sodi while she was finishing an architecture degree in Mexico City. Ariño took inspiration from Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, in which the author shares reflections on his time living in his hand-built cabin on land owned by mentor Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Casa Tiny is clearly inspired by the simple, nature-surrounded life Thoreau details, although its dramatic gabled roof and huge wooden louvered doors add a touch of opulence appropriate for a now world-renowned project.
The structure is made of as few materials as possible. In fact, it's just concrete, with shutters and doors made of local Parota wood. Ariño sourced her building crew from nearby Casa Wabi, and although concrete casting and construction is a regional expertise, the slanted gabled roof proved momentarily tricky for the team, as it was cast as several upside down "V"s, then assembled to create the longer roof.
The interior is open plan, taken up mostly by a long casted concrete table that extends onto the patio outside. A staircase with alternating tread doubles as seating and leads to a monolithic bedroom loft, with one central window overlooking the surrounding jungle.
The house runs North to South, so dominant winds (and mosquitos) flow through and keep it cool, while an outdoor pool sits to the West, parallel to the coast. The property is completed with a brick oven, a hammock, an outdoor shower, and a couple of wooden benches. That’s about it.
The last part is worth repeating, as many a guest find themselves unexpectedly stranded upon arriving at Casa Tiny. It’s a truly remote destination—meaning no grocery stores, restaurants, or much else within reach. So be forewarned, if you make the trip, be sure to rent a motorbike or 4x4 rig to navigate the sand and dirt road to and from, and hit the SuperChe in town for groceries before heading north.
Otherwise, enjoy the breeze. And avocados!