The Cooper Union
School of Architecture


The proposed house sits in the flat tropical coastal lowlands south of Acapulco. The house is imagined as an overlap of the stepped forms of the Pre-Columbian archeological remnants, the archetype of the Mexican Courtyard house and of Latin-American Modernism. The Acapulco House consists of a stepping outdoor-plaza element that passes through a raised court in a horizontal upper zone. The stepped plaza defines all critical spaces and is exposed throughout as an oversized stair both on the upper and lower surfaces; the exterior stair surfaces are to be clad in a light green stone, and the underside exposed reinforced concrete. The steps are each 90cm wide and allow for various plaza-deck uses. The stair element passes through all areas of the house supporting complete outdoor circulation from level to level. The east elevation is a horizontal cantilevered bedroom and bathroom zone that provides deep shade to terrace areas outside the kitchen and around the swimming pool. The west elevation is characterized by the suspended interior-passage stair connecting the living level with the upper domestic level spaces and an interior rectangular courtyard. Rising just above the deep-shade canopy of the heavily vegetated landscape, the upper surface of the stepped court overlooks the Pacific.

Professor, Proportional-Time Faculty