The Amazing Transformation Of An Abandoned Building Into A Cozy Little Home

Judging by the original look of this building, very few people would even consider turning it into their home. This place from Merida, Mexico however shows that there’s great potential in old structures. This abandoned building was recently transformed into a cozy little home. It was a project completed in 2020 by architects Arista Cero and Gina Góngora. It’s small which makes it even more charming. The design strategy was a very interesting one.

The interior is separated into a social ground floor and a private mezzanine areaView in gallery
The interior is separated into a social ground floor and a private mezzanine area
The red front door and window shutters offer a hint that this old building is actually in use
The red front door and window shutters offer a hint that this old building is actually in use

This started out as a small abandoned building, just 12 meters wide and 4.5 meters deep. It was in ruin, with damaged areas, signs of previous repairs inside and a lot of imperfections. Rather than covering up all these elements and making a dramatic change in style, the architects and owners chose to preserve the original state of the building and to intervene as little as possible. The front facade remained untouched with the exception of the door and window. These are the only two openings in the facade and they stand out by contrasting with the original finish of the walls. 

The mezzanine and ground floor are connected by a very slender metal staircaseView in gallery
The mezzanine and ground floor are connected by a very slender metal staircase

Inside there’s 54 square meters of living space organized on the ground floor and a mezzanine area. They’re connected by a very slender spiral staircase made of metal. The materials and finishes used to do the repairs and to consolidate the walls, floor and ceiling were chosen for their similarities with the original state of the interior. New elements such as the framing for the doors and window were done using polished concrete and this adds a subtle contrast between them and everything else. 

The living, dining and kitchen areas are combined into an open and welcoming main spaceView in gallery
The living, dining and kitchen areas are combined into an open and welcoming main space
The matching upholstery on the sofa and the dining chair add cohesiveness to the interiorView in gallery
The matching upholstery on the sofa and the dining chair add cohesiveness to the interior
The interior opens up to a small courtyard with a water poolView in gallery
The interior opens up to a small courtyard with a water pool
The bathroom is marked by a set of metal folding doorsView in gallery
The bathroom is marked by a set of metal folding doors
The mezzanine bedroom has a view over most of the ground floorView in gallery
The mezzanine bedroom has a view over most of the ground floor
Any repairs that had to be done were carefully concealed and made to blend inView in gallery
Any repairs that had to be done were carefully concealed and made to blend in

This is a wonderful blend of old and new details. It’s a cozy and modern home inside an old shell. The existing imperfections were embraced and the original charm and character of the building were preserved. There’s not a lot of space inside. The house features a living area with a dark green sofa and a vintage area rug, a kitchen and dining setup on one side of it with access to a small courtyard and a bathroom on the opposite side hidden behind folding doors made of metal and glass. The spiral stairs lead to the mezzanine area which serves as a bedroom. It’s simple and small but it has a ton of character. 

The courtyard is very small and enclosed by decorative metal fencesView in gallery
The courtyard is very small and enclosed by decorative metal fences
The courtyard glass doors and windows are the main source of natural lightView in gallery
The courtyard glass doors and windows are the main source of natural light