Once upon a time in Mexico… renovating an old house in Mérida

Layer upon hidden layer revealed its different incarnations

La Rosa, a house in the historic centre of Mérida, capital of the Mexican state of Yucatán, exudes a sense of the past and reflects its historical surroundings. It is something its owner, architect Lucía Rios Santos, was keen to see safeguarded when she and her husband came to renovate it. “Every room offered a space that had a history to tell. We felt that the story must be rescued and preserved,” she says.

She tells the tale of its construction during the 1940s: “A man called Cristobal Duran, Don Boxol to his neighbours, bought the land and built a family home here, which was also a grocery. For more than 70 years his shop was the grocery store of the neighbourhood and some neighbours still fondly remember childhoods spent swimming in the water tanks, and renting bicycles from him.”

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