Best plan: A two-mast schooner to go live around the world. Second best plan: A house like Universe, in Roca Blanca, Mexico. And neoprene suits, surf boards, and diving gear. OK, and a two-mast schooner too. Come in and enjoy.
We always feature the most amazinglytastic and awesomerest architecture, packed with high-tech materials and impossible shapes. And yet, every time I come across something like the Universe house, I keep coming back to the same thought: The best architecture is the simplest one. No need for titanium plates, no need for complex computer-aided design—just good design integrated in the perfect natural spot. Just a hammock and an internet connection, thank you very much (if that).
Created by Mexican artist Gabriel Orozco and architect Tatiana Bilbao, Universe’s design is based in the Jantar Mantar Astronomical Observatory, which was built in Delhi in 1724. Orozco visited the observatory in 1996. After seeing it, he wanted a house that captured the concept. Bilbao’s office drafted the detailed plans after his sketches, and a team built it the traditional way, which included the help of a donkey called Panchito, who ferried some of the materials and stones into this wild spot of the Mexican Coast. The house offers a 360-degree view, with no glass windows—just some wood planks in case a hurricane comes by—with a swimming pool in the middle replacing the observatory bowl from the Indian temple. A design change that I strongly agree with—and I would enjoy, Margarita in hand, if I were so lucky as to watch the sun set from there. One day. [Tatiana Bilbao and Interview with Gabriel Orozco via Archdaily]