Casa Wabi: Architecture as Muse
At BoutiqueHomes, we're passionate about innovative design, conservation, sustainability and community building. Casa Wabi, near Puerto Escondido on the Pacific coast of Mexico, checks all those boxes—and then some. As a result, we are proud to support the work of Fundación Casa Wabi by offering exclusive stays at this exceptional home for a few weeks each year. Apply to stay at Casa Wabi here.
Built in 2013, this stereotype-defying beachfront complex was the vision of Mexican artist Bosco Sodi, brought to life in collaboration with Pritzker-Prize-winning Tadao Ando and a collective of renowned architects from around the world, including Alvaro Siza, Ambrosi Etchegaray and Solano Benitez.
It was conceived as a space for creative interaction and inspiration, where residents and local communities come together, the name "Casa Wabi" coming from the Japanese idea of wabi-sabi, the acceptance of transcience and imperfection.
The site faces the ocean directly, sharing 550 meters of coastline with the beach, its main structure following a wall that is 312 meters long and 3.6 meters high. Below eye level, the buildings along this line are contemporary, with geometric concrete walls, columns, stone floors and wooden shutters. Above eye level, palapa roofs reflect the traditional architecture of the region.
Design-wise, as its name implies, Casa Wabi is a meeting of cultures and minds. Around the grounds, you'll find a cylindrical concrete observatory and meditation space by Ando, a chicken coop by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, gardens and a pavilion created by Mexican architect Alberto Kalach, a clay pavilion by Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza, and a compost pavilion by Paraguayan architects Solano Benitez and Gloria Cabral. There are also imposing pieces of land art, including monumental clay cubes—Sodi's own work—made from 1,600 handmade bricks, and a ghostly set of painted human totems by Japanese artist Izumi Kato.
Key to the vision of Fundación Casa Wabi, which was created in 2014 to oversee the project, is giving back to the local community, through literacy and arts programs. Artists are invited to stay at Casa Wabi and, while in residence, get to know the the original residents of the land, creating a community program that gives back more than it takes. A large exhibition space showcases some of the work achieved in these residencies, but the impact of the artists in residence is intended to be much longer term.
Another of the foundation's key goals is sustainability. Casa Wabi was designed to merge with the wild, windswept Oaxacan coast, with respect for the beaches and marshland that surround it, creating a symbiosis between its construction materials and the natural environment. The foundation promotes sustainable farming practices, including those on its own grounds where you'll find an abundance of papaya and mango trees, a vegetable garden, and a plantation growing indigenous Mixtec cotton.
Casa Wabi has been instrumental in transforming a laid-back surfing community into a design destination, but one that, unlike the gated compounds of other resorts, treads gently on the landscape and communities around it.
We are honored to partner with Fundación Casa Wabi to share the few weeks each year that are made available to travelers. All proceeds from reservations go directly to furthering the foundation’s programs. But please note: this a space to create, to be inspired, to make art, and to develop ideas. It is not a location for parties and other events of that nature—and all inquiries should be made with that mission in mind.
Apply to stay at Casa Wabi here.
ALSO AVAILABLE FROM CASA WABI
As availability at Casa Wabi itself is limited most of the year to artists in residence, we invite you to explore its sister properties, all of which were designed by Bosco Sodi, the founder of Fundación Casa Wabi, with interiors by Década Muebles, the Mexico City design company co-founded by his wife Lucia Corredor. Discover them here: Las Marianas, Casa Liebre, Casa Cons.