The project goes up two levels to house sixteen apartments, all around a vast central courtyard that houses the common areas of the complex.
The project takes its name from the Toh bird, a species from the Riviera Maya recognized for its vibrant plumage and unique tail. These birds are known to be native to Tulum's "cenotes," or cavernous sinkholes filled with groundwater. The architects honor the majestic birds, interpreting the occupants of the housing project "as if they were these birds that are around a body of water."
Immediately defined by its use of natural materials, Grajales Arquitectos' TOH housing project is surrounded by a façade of locally sourced vine panels. These textural vine panels can also be found within the bedrooms of each unit. The team explains: "Just as birds rest in nests, so will our users."
This façade is made up of huge, operable shutters that can be folded or closed depending on the needs of the occupants. This results in an inherently dynamic expression that continually transforms according to the inside of the users. In addition to regional vines, the team made use of various materials from the area. These include rattan, "cantera con vistas maya", chukum stucco and parota wood. The team continues: "Its design, the selection of materials, the color palette and the vegetation seek to generate a space of calm and peace."
"The project explores a constant relationship inside and out, of community and private spaces, taking care of a relaxed and respectful environment with its surroundings."