grajales arquitectos names housing project for ‘toh’ birds of tulum

learning from the cave-dwelling toh birds


Mexico-based studio Grajales Arquitectos completes a verdant housing project in Tulum dubbed TOH. The project rises two levels to house sixteen apartments, all surrounding a vast central patio hosting the common areas of the complex.


The project takes its name from the Toh bird, a species from the Riviera Maya recognized by 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 found around a nucleus of water.’

grajales arquitectos TOHimages © Oscar Hernandez | @oscarq_hdz



meaningful materials by Grajales Arquitectos


At once defined by its use of natural materials, Grajales Arquitectos’ TOH housing project is enclosed by a facade of locally-sourced vine panels. These textural vine panels can also be found within the bedrooms of each units. The team elaborates: ‘Just as birds rest in nests, the same will happen with our users.’


This facade is made up of massive, operable shutters which can be folded open or closed according to the needs of the occupants. This results in an inherently a dynamic expression which is continually transforming according to the users is inside. In addition to the regional vines, the team made use of various materials from the area. These includes rattan, ‘Mayan view quarry,’ chukum stucco and parota wood. The team continues: ‘Its design, the selection of materials, color palette and vegetation seeks to generate a space of calm and peace.’


The project explores a constant relationship inside and outside, of community and private spaces, taking care of a relaxed and respectful atmosphere with its surroundings.’

grajales arquitectos tohthe facade of folding shutters is continually transforming

grajales arquitectos toh
textural panels are made from locally-sourced vines

grajales arquitectos tohthe gardened gathering space serves sixteen apartments

grajales arquitectos tohat night, the project gives off a dynamic glow

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