the ‘casa silencio’ in xaagá
mexico-based architect alejandro d’acosta realizes ‘casa silencio’ as a ceremonial retreat nestled into a lush valley in xaagá. the boutique hotel is designed with consideration for its context and stands as a celebration of the ancestral process of making mezcal, a lightly sweet drink that stands as a pillar of oaxacan culture. casa silencio occupies a pre-existing mezcal factory, framing views of the so-called sacred mountain and maintaining a strong relationship with the sunset. the design team prioritizes views during the luminous night-time toward the stars and the moon over the distant landscape.
images © onnis luque | @onnisluque_fotografia
a clustered labyrinth
describing casa silencio, architect alejandro d’acosta explains that ‘the voids are the main spaces.’ these areas exist as a threshold, or connection between the exterior with the interior. as is common among pre-hispanic sites, the building is occupied from the outside and the clustered buildings form a labyrinth of interior spaces that are in constant dialogue with the outside, with nature, and with the landscape.
with his casa silencio, alejandro d’acosta uses local materials, leaving their natural surface qualities exposed. with this strategy, the volumes seem to arise from the earth and integrate with the environment. it is the architecture behind closed doors, nothing came out of the construction in the form of garbage, and each material of the work was reused with some other function.
the work honors traditions, it is an emotional architecture that evokes sensitivity and discovery. a contemporary monastery, an immersive space in which the drink is created and experienced, visitors are invited to reconcile with the heritage of the area while inhabiting that sacred place.