Raul Velasquez of RVOStudio deploys Casa Sukha’s staggering masses to create breathtaking vistas

AUG 25, 2021 | By Twinkle Tolani
The jungle and the sea form a beguiling vista at the deck of Casa Sukha; Photographs courtesy Marcos Garcia
Deck at the lower level is connected to other social spaces of the residence; Photographs courtesy Marcos Garcia
Bewitching views surround Casa Sukha; Photographs courtesy Marcos Garcia
Living area of Casa Sukha with sofas and lounge chairs by Claudia Gleason Designs faces the outdoors with cowhide side cubes custom made by a local vendor. The table base is crafted from beach harvested mangrove root while the painting by Nikki Kirchel and yarn artwork on the wall by Wixarika (Huichol) artist Rafael Veladez add a pop of colour and contrast; Photographs courtesy Marcos Garcia
Kitchen at Casa Sukha wears a raw and rustic vibe owing to lamps by BRC Group Design alongside table and chairs from Claudia Gleason Design; Sculpture is from Miriam Ladron, Oaxaca; Photographs courtesy Marcos Garcia
The outdoor patio is beginning of Casa Sukha, and starkly different from the road leading up to it; Photographs courtesy Marcos Garcia
Materials are left exposed, basking in sunlight and simplicity; Photographs courtesy Marcos Garcia
Hand-polished concrete ceiling in the bedroom at Casa Sukha complements its rugged precinct while bench and storage from MoMe Mobiliario Designs and finesse as do the outdoor chairs and lamp from BRC Business Group Design; Photographs courtesy Marcos Garcia
Adding an earthy aesthetic is the jute and cotton carpet from Indonesia. The other furnishings from Oaxacan Originals flourish the space; Photographs courtesy Marcos Garcia

Casa Sukha derives its name from the Sanskrit word that translates to happiness. Inspired by Charles Correa’s work and Le Corbusier’s Palace of Assembly in Chandigarh, Raul Velazquez of RVOSTUDIO with co-designers Alejandro Vera and Amaranta Aviles, has endowed Casa Sukha with a raw yet refined aesthetic defined by its rugged exteriors. 

Fusing outdoor splendour and indoor quaintness courtesy of the rugged topography and extreme climatic conditions of San Pancho in Mexico—Casa Sukha by Raul Velasquez with co-designers Alejandro Vera and Amaranta Aviles of RVOSTUDIO is spread across 10,000 sq ft.

The steep slopes on all four corners of the house have lent it as many as five levels. On the bright side, the house has generous double-height foyers and a princely outdoor patio due to multiple levels.

Staircase next to palm tree leads to main pool deck from the lower level; Photographs courtesy Marcos Garcia

In most residential designs, outdoor spaces are designed in line with the indoor spaces, or vice-versa. At Casa Sukha, the topographical elements left voids that are filled by bedrooms, kitchen, corridors, terraces and other spaces.

Outdoor patio warmly welcomes the visitor with views of the sky; Photographs courtesy Marcos Garcia

A rich timber door becomes the first interface between the outdoors and the house. Once you are through the door, the bustling hill road outside is long forgotten. Inside, a grand patio warmly welcomes one into the property.

Breath-taking views of the jungle and sea override the senses till a palm tree marking the double-height foyer grabs attention. A staircase adjacent to the palm tree leads to the prime social areas of the house, while the passageway to the right leads to more intimate spaces like bedrooms.

Volcanic stone employed as wall at Casa Sukha by RVOStudio; Photographs courtesy Marcos Garcia


Kitchen connected to main pool is an integral social pocket at Casa Sukha; Photographs courtesy Marcos Garcia

The main social areas consist of an enormous pool deck connected to the living area and other social pocket spaces. The living area has the main volume of the structure over it, tilted at an angle of 30 degrees.

“The most enjoyable part to design was the living area and the main volume overhanging above it,” says Velazquez. The entire structure is designed around the topography and not over it. The focus was to facilitate the natural flow of water and other resources, not to disrupt it.

The main pool deck acts as a transition between private and social spaces; Photographs courtesy Marcos Garcia


Landscape at Casa Sukha is native to Mexico, and adapt to seasonal changes; Photographs courtesy Marcos Garcia

The massive overhang above the living room spreads out over the deck for about 40 feet. It shades the deck area through all seasons—a prime example of how architectural elements can be multi-functional if employed to their full potential.

These features are not coincidental; they are designed interventions to combat harsh weather conditions. Even the landscaping on the property uses plants that require minimal water. They are native to Mexico and adapt to seasonal changes.

Form and shape of a structure are more crucial in a design according to Raul Velasquez; Photographs courtesy Marcos Garcia


The house adopts a style that is cross between brutalism and medieval architecture; Photographs courtesy Marcos Garcia

Employing isolated slabs and walls to cut down on air-conditioning and passive cross-ventilation design techniques are some other features in the house that promote sustainability.

Overall, the house has a brutalist look with a hint of medieval architecture. Meanwhile, the house does not shy away from its Mexican heritage and tropical context either.

The architect makes use of honest colours for the interiors of Casa Sukha; Photographs courtesy Marcos Garcia


Casa Sukha is a perfect vacation home—complete with views, vivid materiality and a tailored form; Photographs courtesy Marcos Garcia

The house is adorned with ‘honest colours’ as Raul Velasquez likes to call it. No surface is veneered or layered; the materials are left in their natural finishes. He believes, more than materials, it is the mass and volume of a structure that caters to the basic spatial requirements of an architectural project.

If you enjoyed reading this, head here to read about the palatial bungalow in Vadodara by K.N.Associates that finds its muse in exposed brick and concrete…