workshop architects gives new life to 20th-century, pastel-toned house in mexico

workshop architects gives new life to 20th-century, pastel-toned house in mexico

‘casa lorena’ by workshop architects 


Located in the historic downtown of Mérida, Mexico, ‘Casa Lorena’ is a 20th-century residence sporting a vibrant makeover by Workshop Architects / Workshop, Diseño y Construcción. Prior to intervention, the house had been divided several times until reaching its current, narrow dimensions; today, ‘Casa Lorena’ present a 4.5-meters front, making up a quarter of its original size. While having shrunk in shape, the property still exudes a captivating, historical charm with its range of pastel colors and rich textures. The result is a small oasis nestled in the downtown area, transporting residents and visitors to simpler times.

casa lorena 3
all images courtesy of Workshop Architects



modernizing the house’s 20th-century features 


The renovated ‘Casa Lorena’ by Workshop Architects (see more here) has a small inset with respect to the street and the walkway, an uncommon feature in the center of the city with a small access area. Crossing the pastel-toned façade, one is welcomed into a small living room with ceilings over five meters high that still include Decauville beams brought from France in the Henequén (Sisal) era. A large archway in the living area invites residents to continue the journey towards the kitchen, where a white quartz central island nicely pairs with blue-toned pasta tile coverings, integrating the colors of the beams into the living room. 

workshop architects gives new life to 20th-century, pastel-toned house in mexico
top view of patio



The terrace, meanwhile, is integrated into the kitchen through tempered glass doors anchored to the old wooden frames, generating views of the gardens and allowing natural light to pour in. As for the roof, the studio conceived it as ‘a wooden structure that reuses the Marseille clay tiles on the property in that same place. It was decided to remove all the finishing on the walls, leaving the stones exposed, creating a beautiful contrast with the blue color of the pasta tile floors and the red of the clay.’ 


Moving on to the private area of the house, the architects laid out two bedrooms, one of which sits on the ground floor with a ventilation cube that links to the bathroom, creating a feeling of spaciousness; users can access that bedroom through a wooden deck. ‘This area has a modern and dynamic volume that is presented with a set of cubes at different heights and with different functions, has chukum finishes with blue tints, and is surrounded by tropical vegetation where a small pool converges with the stairs of white cement and the hanging planters that lead to the second bedroom, which has the same spatiality as the one on the first level,‘ concludes the studio. 

casa lorena 1
swimming pool

casa lorena 5
pool and stairs detail


casa lorena 7
street façade’of ‘Casa Lorena’

workshop architects gives new life to 20th-century, pastel-toned house in mexico
remnants of the pastel-toned surfaces brought to life by modern lighting

casa lorena 2
arched passageway in the living room-kitchen area of ‘Casa Lorena’

casa lorena 9
kitchen with a white quartz central island and pasta tiles

casa lorena 8
downstairs bedroom






project info:


name: Casa Lorena

location: Mérida, Mexico 

architecture: Workshop, Diseño y Construcción



designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: lea zeitoun | designboom

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